Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Raytheon and Leonardo-Finmeccanica will not jointly pursue a contract for the U.S. Air Force's T-X trainer aircraft program.
The T-X program is an Air Force effort to procure a new two-seat military jet trainer to replace its Northrop T-38 Talon, which has been in service with the branch for over four decades.
Prior to ending their joint involvement, Raytheon and Leonardo's partnership intended to submit a T-100 platform for the project.
"In February 2016, Raytheon and Leonardo announced their intent to team on the T-X pursuit. While we remain confident that the T-100 is a strong solution, our companies were unable to reach a business agreement that is in the best interest of the U.S. Air Force," Raytheon spokesperson B.J. Boling said in a press release. "Consequently, Raytheon and Leonardo will not jointly pursue the T-X competition."
Other competing partnerships included Boeing and Saab, Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries, and Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems.
U.S. defense officials initially planned to replace the T-38 in 2017, but budget cutbacks have pushed initial operating capability for the aircraft to around 2023. The Air Force plans to begin the program in 2017.