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Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems withdraw from T-X competition

By Ryan Maass
Northrop Grumman, BAE Systems withdraw from T-X competition
Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems have withdrawn from the competition to develop the T-X trainer aircraft, for which they had proposed an updated version of the Hawk T2/128. Photo by Adrian Pingstone/Wikimedia Commons

Feb. 1 (UPI) -- Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems will not submit a proposal for the U.S. Air Force's T-X Trainer program, the companies jointly announced.

The move is the latest withdrawal of a defense industry team from the T-X competition, and comes a week after Raytheon and Leonardo-Finmeccanica announced they will not jointly participate in the contest.

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In a statement explaining their decision, Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems said the team carefully examined the program's requirements.

"The companies have decided not to submit a proposal for the T-X Trainer program, as it would not be in the best interest of the companies and their shareholders," the companies said in a press release. "Northrop Grumman and BAE Systems remain fully committed to performing on current and future U.S. Air Force programs, to deliver critical capabilities to America's airmen."

The T-X program is an effort by the U.S. Air Force to replace its current fleet of Northrop T-38 Talon jet trainers. The branch is seeking a fast two-seat aircraft to serve in this role.

Northrop Grumman, which developed the T-38, and its partner BAE Systems initially proposed an updated version of the Hawk T2/128 for the program.

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The team's withdrawal from the competition leaves a partnership between Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries and a partnership between Boeing and Saab still in the running.

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