WASHINGTON, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- Raytheon is leading an industry team to compete to provide the U.S. Air Force with a next-generation jet trainer aircraft.
The pilot training aircraft is the T-100 -- an advanced variant of the Aermacchi M-346 -- which will feature twin F124 turbofan engines supplied by Honeywell Aerospace, and a ground training system from CAE USA.
Aermacchi is a subsidiary of Italy's Finmeccanica.
"The success of our nation's future pilots depends on a comprehensive trainer to prepare them to take full advantage of the capabilities unique to advanced 4th and 5th generation fighters," said Rick Yuse, president of Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems.
"Our affordable, low risk, open systems solution combines a proven aircraft with a suite of fully integrated training technologies. Our team is best positioned to bring the essential experience, capabilities and core competencies together to meet the United States Air Force's mission requirements."
"The T-100 offers dynamic kinetic performance, while also delivering an embedded, tactical training system that immerses pilots in realistic mission scenarios," added Filippo Bagnato, managing director of Finmeccanica Aircraft Division. "The M-346, the basis for the T-100, is already operational and preparing pilots around the world for the challenges of today's complex fighter platforms."
Raytheon, in announcing its entry into the Air Force's Advanced Pilot Training competition, offered no additional details on the contract bid.