Boeing and Saab Team Up for New Jet Trainer

Sleek single-engine jet will compete for multibillion dollar Air Force contract.

Boeing T-X
Boeing unveiled a production T-X this week in St. Louis Missouri.Boeing

Boeing has teamed up with Swedish Saab AB, designer of the Gripen multi-mission fighter jet, to produce a military jet trainer designed to compete for the U.S. Air Force T-X contract. The contract is expected to include an order of at least 350 jets worth billions of dollars to replace more than 400 existing T-38 trainers. A stunning production T-X was revealed to the public this week in St. Louis, Missouri. Boeing has already produced two T-X airplanes.

“Our T-X is real, ready and the right choice for training pilots for generations to come,” said Boeing Defense, Space and Security president and CEO Leanne Caret.

Boeing’s T-X is a sleek twin-tail jet with stadium seating for improved visibility for the instructor. It is powered by a GE F404 engine, the series of which is designed to produce as much as 19,000 pounds of thrust. The airplane has fly-by-wire controls, and although no details were released about the avionics supplier, Boeing promises an advanced cockpit with flexible avionics.

The airplane was also designed to make the mechanics’ jobs easier, with improved accessibility, and fewer and more common fasteners. The design uses established USAF suppliers and is tailored to common USAF ground equipment.

Initial operations capability for the T-X program is planned for 2024.