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On Monday the Air Force awarded Boeing a contract worth approximately $2.4 billion to replace the UH-1N helicopter replacement program, and on August 30 the firm won an $805 million award to build the first four MQ-25 Navy tanker drones.

The service said Thursday it plans to procure 351 trainer jets, 46 simulators and related ground equipment under the indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract.

The Air Force wants to replace its aging fleet of T-38 planes, which are almost 50 years old.

The new sophisticated training system will help train fighter and bomber pilots of the Air Force for generations to come, and Boeing is the designated prime contractor for the Advanced Pilot Training Program.

The first new trainers and simulators are scheduled to arrive at Texas's Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph in 2023.

Leanne Caret, president and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said in a statement that the win was "the culmination of years of unwavering focus by the Boeing and Saab team".

The service's target date for reach initial operational capability with the T-X is 2024. As the clock ticks down on the fiscal year, Boeing grabbed its third DOD contract in a month. All undergraduate pilot training bases will eventually transition from the T-38 to the T-X.

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But the structure of the deal suggests that the Air Force and Boeing might be expecting growth of a certain kind.

The Boeing T-X aircraft has one engine, twin tails, stadium seating, and an advanced cockpit with embedded training. She added the contract states Boeing will build up to 475 trainer jets which will be disbursed between Air Force bases.

The Boeing T-X at its official unveiling in 2016.

The T-X programme is valued at an estimated USD1 billion for 350 aircraft.

The aircraft giant, which submitted a bid in partnership with Swedish company Saab, outlasted Lockheed Martin and Italy's Leonardo in the competition for the contract. It is designed from the scratch to meet the U.S. Air Force demands unlike the KAI-Lockheed Martin team's T-50A.

The original service-cost estimate was $19.7 billion for 351 aircraft.

In a statement, Saab said the award means Boeing can now begin placing orders with its suppliers, including Saab, but has not done so yet.


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