Skip to comments.USAF delays T-38 trainer replacement to 2020
Posted on 02/19/2012 8:12:43 PM PST by U-238
The US Air Force has confirmed its latest budget proposal delays fielding a replacement for the Northrop T-38 Talon advanced jet trainer by three years. The Fiscal 2013 budget proposal unveiled on 13 February postpones the initial operational capability for the T-X programme from FY2017 to FY2020, according to the Air Education and Training Command (AETC).
Contract award is also delayed one year to FY2016, the AETC said.
The command remains committed to replacing the T-38s, which entered service 51 years ago.
"They're reaching the end of their lifecyle," the AETC said.
The T-38Cs are also unable to perform certain functions that are necessary to completely train pilots for the Lockheed Martin F-22 and F-35s, such as in-flight refueling and aerial manoeuvres beyond 5gs.
The USAF currently uses Lockheed F-16s to complete the gap in training for pilots moving from the T-38 to the F-22. The demand is expected to increase sharply as the F-35 enters the USAF fleet in numbers by the end of the decade.
At least five airframers are already preparing to compete for the project.
BAE Systems has teamed up with Northrop Technical Services to offer the Hawk trainer. Lockheed plans to offer the T-50 Golden Eagle, which is manufactured by Korea Aerospace Industries. Alenia Aeronautica is offering the T-100, a US-built version of the M346 Master.
(Excerpt) Read more at flightglobal.com ...
On job fairs, it is not even funny. They hawk up from the Census bureau and unemployment office for veterans, telling them to go on disabilities and what not, so as to join them and vote and speak like they do.
DC is pack full of these communist jokers who are barely hiding it. IT is so obvious and our GOP is so out of touch.
I do not think the air force plans on seeing any f 35, period. The day of the drone has arrived.
The T-38 and it’s brother, the F-5 were the most beautiful jet fighters to come along until the F-16 showed up. Great looking planes.....
They are great planes
If they were smart, they would just build new T-38s, with newer engines, updated electronics, beefed up airframe to 9Gs, air refuleing, and basic weapons delivery.
There is a reason it has lasted nearly 50 years as the advanced trainer - it was so good at its job.
The Air Force pilot training program has gone backwards, with prop planes replacing jets and subsonic foreign jets replacing T-38s. Because the accountants and politicians are calling the shots, not aviators.
All very good points
Didn’t they do that a decade or 2 ago and call it the F-20?
The T-50 is supersonic. It shares a lot of design features with the F-16, since LockMart is part owner of the consortium that built it. Of the 3 mentioned, I'd think it would be the best choice, built in the US of course.But LockMart already has most of the pie, so the political types would be reluctant. However BAE might not be too popular a choice either, and the Hawk should have replaced the T-37 if we were going foreign design.
I'd love to see a two-seat F-20 replace the T-38.
"Hello, Northrop? Remember the F-20? Dust off the plans and add another seat."
Beautiful it is. I loved flying the -38. That airplane finally made me fall in love with flying....once I strapped into one, I thought “now THIS is what flying was supposed to be about!” Awesome plane to fly.
All those upgrades will lead to a cost as high, if not higher than that of buying a new off the shelf trainer like the M-346 and T-50. And the basic configuration of the T-38 will remain old. The M-346 and T-50 are newer fly by wire aircraft designed with the new generation of fighters in mind; and both have American content.
Would also need a bigger wing, fly-by-wire to meet the manouverabilty requirement.
You really that into nostalgia?
You don’t understand the issue.
It is not an upgrade - it would be a new-from-the-factory airframe.
It does not need to be fly-by-wire and does not need the maneuverability of a fighter - it’s a trainer. It teaches pilots how to fly, not how to dogfight, an advanced skill set. It focuses on essential skills to be an aviator, instruments, formation, acrobatics, high AOA handling and swept-wing approach and landings.
It is not an F-20. It needs to be a two seat aircraft to accommodate an instructor.
It does not require a full weapons suite. The only reason a limited weapons capability is required in the new trainer is that the F-22 and F-35s are too few and too expensive to accommodate all the weapons system initial skills training that was part of all fighter syllabus in the past (F-4, F-16, F-105, F-15). So they want to offload it on the end of the pilot training program.
Nostalgia? That’s what the Air Force did when it replaced the jet T-37 with a prop trainer.
Right back at you.
The reasons not to relaunch the T-38 are that it's a 60 year old design for a 60 year old training concept. There have been a couple of revolutions in training philosophy since the T-37/T-38 basic/advanced idea of the 50s
The last supersonic trainer to enter service was the Mitsubishi T-2 at the end of the 60s. The handful of supersonic hours didn't justify the added cost for what could be equally done on an intermediate trainer such as the Hawk/Alpha Jet.
Once high performace turboprops could simulate jet throttle performance the operating costs of a T-37 type basic trainer again became unjustifiable.
Even today the only reason to go supersonic is if you also want a common design with a 70% scale F-16 for your combat squadrons. (ie the KAI T-50/TA-50/FA-50)
Your expertise is based on what?