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

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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