ST. LOUIS, Jan. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. Air Force has signed an $855 million contract with Boeing to maintain its T-38 trainer fleet through 2026.
Under the contract, Boeing will be tasked with supporting avionics, cockpit displays, communications and control panels for the aircraft, in addition to upgrading 37 aircrew training devices. The company will be responsible for 465 of the planes.
The twin-engine, high-altitude supersonic jet trainer is used by the Air Force for education and training for undergraduate pilots.The plane was originally developed by Northrop Grumman, but has been supported by Boeing for the past 16 years. Boeing T-38 program manager Kurt Schroeder says the new contract will help new pilots transition to modern fighter aircraft.
"Working with our Air Force customers, Boeing is keeping the T-38 mission ready for the next decade." Schroeder said in a statement.
The Air Force is planning to replace the T-38 with the new T-X pilot training system. Boeing is competing for the contract to develop with the T-X in a joint venture with Saab.