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T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2015, 14:14
by popcorn
Another major AF program that merits it's own thread.

USAF Issues T-X Requirements

WASHINGTON — The US Air Force has released the long-awaited requirements for its next-generation trainer program, known as T-X.

The requirements, posted on a federal website Wednesday, will drive the decisions of the five competing companies who hope to win the rights to build 350 advanced flight trainers and the associated systems to replace the legacy T-38 trainer. Interested parties must respond to the service by May 10.

The program is the first to issue requirements under the "Bending the Cost Curve" initiative, a major staple in Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James' plans for acquisition reform.

There are over 100 requirements included in the documents, but an Air Force news release said the emphasis is on three key components: sustained G, simulator visual acuity and performance, and aircraft sustainment.

Other capabilities include the need for in-flight refueling, a 10 percent reduction in fuel usage from the T-38, and a minimum of being able to take off at an 8000' runway length, 7400' density altitude and 10 knot tailwind
.

[Notably, there is no requirement for a "Red Air" aggressor aircraft. ]While such a program was included in the out years of the fiscal 2016 budget request submitted by the service, Air Force officials have characterized that more as study money for future upgrades...

A contract award is planned for fall of 2017.

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /25080555/

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2015, 16:24
by cantaz
Which doesn't mean the service isn't looking at future capabilities for the T-X. Included in a series of questions posited to industry are "to what degree is your current design open/flexible to accommodation of future capability modifications" and another asking whether there are "limiting factors in your current design that would preclude future system modification" of wing pylons, radar systems, datalinks and defensive systems.


CAS aircraft for permissible environments?

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 22 Mar 2015, 18:08
by madrat
So basically they can get away with an afterburning engine as long as it burns less fuel than a pair of J85's. Sounds like a single engined F125-powered trainer with a fixed air intake and larger wings than the T-38. Does it discourage canard layouts? I would think a wing layout like the X-31 would give a simple design capable of sustained high g turns. Plus it's a well understood wing plan and easily adaptable for wing loads. The alternative would be stay conventional and stick with a slim design like the T-38 only incorporating LERX extensions and reroute the airflow underwing, which would gave it the mini-Golden Eagle (T-50) look.

Does the fuel usage need to be vis-a-vis? I could see a contractor taking the maximum WET fuel use of the T-38 minus the minimum savings the air force wants and then using dry thrust efficiency to justify a larger engine. But as an added caveat they would still use an engine incorporating wet thrust without having to justify its wet thrust efficiency.

The emphasis is on only three factors that really involve the aircraft. The fourth one probably drives the winner more than anything. Wouldn't it make more sense to bid that part - the simulator visual acuity - first and then put the airframe out to bid second?

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 23 Mar 2015, 01:36
by popcorn
cantaz wrote:
Which doesn't mean the service isn't looking at future capabilities for the T-X. Included in a series of questions posited to industry are "to what degree is your current design open/flexible to accommodation of future capability modifications" and another asking whether there are "limiting factors in your current design that would preclude future system modification" of wing pylons, radar systems, datalinks and defensive systems.


CAS aircraft for permissible environments?

Just keeping their options open which makes sense. I also think it serves no purpose for the AF to play up any potential combat capabilities at this time when the F-35 production is beginning to ramp up. No need for Sprey-clones arguing to cut F-35s now that a cheap option is to be had. No need to saddle F-X with that baggage.

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 24 Mar 2015, 01:58
by popcorn
 More along the same lines.

No Aggressor, But Built-In Adaptability
—JOHN A. TIRPAK3/23/2015
comment

The requirements for the Air Force’s T-X trainer don’t call for the airplane to be capable of the aggressor mission, but the jet is to have sufficient space, weight, power, and cooling to accommodate that role in the future. Lt. Gen Tod Wolters, deputy chief of staff for operations, told the Senate Armed Services airland panel on March 19 that it’s “too early” to look at the T-X for the aggressor role, noting F-16s are doing the mission “most cost effectively” for the near-term. However, USAF may want to consider the T-X in the aggressor role “at some point.” William LaPlante, service acquisition executive, said USAF ensured the requirements didn’t “limit our options” regarding future T-X applications. Air Education and Training Command said March 20 there is $40 million across the future years defense plan under “stores-aircraft interface” “to provide future planning or development options related to T-X.” Gen. Robin Rand, AETC commander, said a T-X variant “is just one option for ‘Red Air’ if we decide there’s a requirement for it.” (LaPlante/Holmes prepared testimony)

Source: Daily Report

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 27 Mar 2015, 03:04
by popcorn
Interesting. AF has just released the T-X requirements so for SK's sake hope T-50 gets the nod.

Lockheed Has T-X Clean Sheet Backup

WASHINGTON — Lockheed Martin is planning to offer the T-50 trainer for the Air Force's T-X program. But that doesn't mean the world's largest defense firm hasn't covered its bases.

Rob Weiss, executive vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin's advanced development programs, better known as the Skunk Works, said the company has a clean-sheet design for T-X on hand on the off-chance the T-50 cannot meet the requirements for the T-X program, which are expected to be released shortly.

"We have taken, over the years, a broad look at the whole T-X requirement," Weiss told reporters last month. "Back in 2010, when this really started getting going as a program, we looked at clean-sheet alternatives as well. And we've kept a low-level effort going on the clean sheet.

"So depending exactly on where the Air Force lands on the requirement, we'll see exactly what we bring forward as the offering."

Source: http://www.defensenews.com/story/defens ... /24438549/

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 29 Mar 2015, 22:19
by pron
GD Withdraws as T-100 Prime Contractor

http://www.defensenews.com/story/breaki ... /70510320/

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 29 Mar 2015, 23:28
by KamenRiderBlade
I really hope they don't give up on the T-X program itself.

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 02 May 2015, 04:30
by rheonomic
Has anyone actually seen the T-X requirements? I've seen a couple of news articles on their release, but was unable to find them on FedBizOps (the AF Link URL didn't seem to work for me). Best I was able to do was find a slideshow talking about some of the requirements, but that seemed a bit dated.

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 07 May 2015, 01:57
by bring_it_on
rheonomic wrote:Has anyone actually seen the T-X requirements? I've seen a couple of news articles on their release, but was unable to find them on FedBizOps (the AF Link URL didn't seem to work for me). Best I was able to do was find a slideshow talking about some of the requirements, but that seemed a bit dated.


Here you go -

https://www.scribd.com/doc/259347717/T-X-KPP

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 10 May 2015, 17:13
by rheonomic
Thanks!

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 12 Jul 2015, 15:28
by popcorn
http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articl ... nt-414531/
USAF reaffirms ambitious T-X sustained-g requirement
The US Air Force is not backing away from the ambitious sustained g requirement for its T-X next-generation trainer that has sidelined at least two proposed aircraft types and driven the competitors toward clean sheet designs...

In a 10 July statement, Air Education and Training Command confirmed that the minimum T-X sustained g requirement of 6.5 g and objective of 7.5 g remains unchanged from the key performance parameter published in March, even though it would exclude a number of viable trainer options from the competition.

The requirement sets a high bar for manoeuvrability, requiring the T-X to sustain that load at a pressure altitude of 15,000ft for at least 140 degrees of a full turn with minimal loss of energy and altitude.

More.

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 12 Jul 2015, 22:33
by johnwill
Wonder why they call it a sustained g maneuver requirement, when their definition of the maneuver is not a sustained g?

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 13 Jul 2015, 06:29
by huggy
johnwill wrote:Wonder why they call it a sustained g maneuver requirement, when their definition of the maneuver is not a sustained g?

I'm not following you on this.
Yes, it is losing energy in the turn... but it's still got to hold 6.5G or better for 140 degrees.

Re: T-X Thread

Unread postPosted: 10 Aug 2015, 07:12
by popcorn
This is a surprise. The more the merrier.


http://theaviationist.com/2015/08/05/al ... n-t-x-bid/

ALENIA AERMACCHI M-346 BACK IN U.S. AIR FORCE T-X ADVANCED TRAINER PROGRAM

The aircraft is considered one of the best candidates to replace the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of aging Northrop T-38 Talon trainers.

[Read also: We have flown one of the world’s most advanced jet trainers: the M-346 of the Italian Air Force]

Still, the fate of the T-100, the M-346 proposal for the T-X program has been unclear since General Dynamics announced it was withdrawing itself as the prime contractor for the bid in March. Furthermore, there were doubts the aircraft could be compliant to the sustained g performance requirement included in the initial RFI (Request For Information), issued by the Air Force.

Nevertheless, it looks like both finding the partner and comply with the challenging requirement are no longer a problem: the company said Aviation Week that talks are in progress with a new partner that will be announced “very soon” whereas, dealing with the sustained g requirement, Alenia Aermacchi Chief Test Pilot Enrico Scarabotto said that the M-346 recently proved to be compliant with the latest amendment of the RFI, issued on Jul. 10.