Mar 23, 2015
T-X, future USAF T-38 jet replacement, requirements released
The initial draft requirements were released in 2012, allowing industry to make more informed, early design decisions.
The T-38 is no longer a practical trainer to prepare Air Force pilots for newer, more advanced aircraft. Currently, 12 of 18 advanced pilot training tasks can’t be completed with the T-38, relying on fighter and bomber formal training units to complete the training at a much greater cost.
The T-X requirements identify three key performance characteristics for the advanced pilot training mission: sustained G, simulator visual acuity and performance, and aircraft sustainment.
A highlight in the requirements is embedded training with synthetic sensors and data link. Significant progress has been made the past decade in synthetic training that very closely approximates the real system.
The Air Force plans to award a contract for 350 T-Xs to replace the 431 AETC T-38s in the fall of 2017, with initial operational capability by the end of 2023.
One requirement not part of the release is for the T-X to serve in a “red air” or adversary role, during live-fly exercises.