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Wed, May 25, 2016

Lockheed Martin Will Build T-50A At South Carolina Facility

Aircraft Being Offered As T-38 Replacement

As the U.S. Air Force works toward replacing the T-38 Talon as its primary jet trainer, Lockheed Martin's Greenville, SC facility is prepping to build the T-50A, which the company will offer as the replacement for the T-38.

The Talon is in its fifth decade of training Air Force pilots. LMC announced back in February that it would be offering the T-50A in the U.S. Air Force’s Advanced Pilot Training (APT) competition. The T-50A was developed jointly by Lockheed Martin and Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI). At the same time, the company said that the Greenville plant was the preferred Final Assembly and Checkout (FACO) site for the T-50A.

“The T-50A is production ready now. It is the only offering that meets all of the APT requirements and can deliver those capabilities on schedule,” Rob Weiss, executive vice president and general manager, Lockheed Martin Advanced Development Programs (Skunk Works), said in a news release in February. “We carefully studied a clean-sheet option for the [Advanced Pilot Training] competition and determined that it posed excessive risk to the APT cost and schedule requirements.”

The Columbia Business Report indicates that the company has started converting Hangar 11 at the Greenville facility for production of the T-50A. The building was originally constructed in 1958, and Don Erickson, site director for Lockheed Martin’s Greenville operations facility located at the S.C. Technology and Aviation Center, said that the conversion would include a new interior roof, office spaces, and fresh paint on the floor. If Lockheed Martin wins the $10 to $11 billion contract, it would produce four aircraft per month at the Greenville facility.

The Air Force is expected to announce the winner of the competition in late 2017 or early 2018.

(Images provided by Lockheed Martin)

FMI: http://www.lockheedmartin.com/us/products/t50A.html

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