Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch: Air Force May Unveil T-X Developer Before Actual Contract Award

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Arnold Bunch

Lt. Gen. Arnold Bunch, top uniformed acquisition officer at the U.S. Air Force, has said the service branch may pick an industry team for the T-X trainer aircraft replacement program ahead of contract award if Congress extends a continuing resolution beyond Dec. 8, Defense News reported Tuesday.

“We will look at options to see if we can award with a delayed start,” Bunch said Tuesday at the Air Force Association’s annual conference.

“There are ways, we have done it before, when you award a contract and you delay the start of the contract for a few months,” he added.

His statement came a day after Saab announced plans to set up a production facility in the U.S. for a trainer aircraft the Sweden-based company and its partner Boeing proposed for the T-X program.

Other industry teams vying for the T-X contract include Lockheed Martin and Korean Aerospace Industries; and Leonardo DRS.

The military branch intends to award the T-X contract by the end of 2017 and expects to spend approximately $2 billion on the program in the next five years.

Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson said earlier that a long-term CR could delay the contract award for the T-X program that seeks to replace the service’s fleet of T-38 planes.

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