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Boeing-Saab T-X - United States, 2023

Detailing the development and operational history of the Boeing-Saab T-X 5th Generation Advanced Jet Trainer Aircraft Prototype.

 Entry last updated on 10/23/2017; Authored by Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Boeing-Saab T-X  
Picture of Boeing-Saab T-X
Picture of Boeing-Saab T-X Picture of Boeing-Saab T-XPicture of Boeing-Saab T-XPicture of Boeing-Saab T-XPicture of Boeing-Saab T-X

The Boeing-Saab T-X, unveiled in September 2016, is a competitor in the USAF advanced trainer aircraft replacement initiative.

In mid-September of 2016, The Boeing Company - in partnership with Sweden's Saab - revealed their challenger for the lucrative United State Air Force "T-X" advanced jet trainer competition. The design was rolled out on September 13th at the Boeing St. Louis (Missouri) facility. It is a "clean sheet" design meaning that it has been engineered from the ground up and not based on an existing, proven aircraft already in service.

Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the T-X is planned for 2023.

The basic approach is a conventionally-arranged aircraft sporting a high-mounted wing mainplane, twin vertical tail fins and a single engine installation. The engine, the General Electric GE F404 series turbofan, is aspirated by a split-air intake duct system. The crew of two are seated in tandem under a lightly-framed canopy - it is assumed the student in front with the instructor aft. The cockpit sits aft of a slender, pointed nosecone and the overall design exudes aerodynamic efficiency. The undercarriage is of a typical tricycle arrangement (of course retractable) with the main legs (single-wheeled) sitting under center mass of the aircraft and the nose leg (also single-wheeled) found under the cockpit floor. Some components of the aircraft are said to have been 3D-printed to help lower costs. Saab is said to be responsible for the middle and aft sections of the new aircraft.

Boeing/Saab promise high maneuverability and a high Angle-of-Attack (AoA) from their design. Logistical friendliness is also noted for the F404 engine in the Boeing-Saab T-X is the same already in the U.S. military pipeline as it powers the Boeing F/A-18 "Hornet" family.

Some 350 advanced trainers are sought by the service to replace the aging line of Northrop Grumman T-38 Talons. Northrop Grumman is also a challenger in the T-X competition along with Lockheed. Northrop revealed their T-X entry in August 2016 - the prototype also powered by the F404 engine. Boeing recently lost out to build the next-generation bomber for the USAF (this went to Northrop) so nabbing the T-X contract is something of a must. Its St. Louis production facility will also see a slowdown in work with the planned wrap-up of fighter production related to the F-15 and F/A-18 lines.

Two production-quality aircraft are ready for evaluation.

Values presented on this page for the Boeing-Saab T-X are estimated on the part of the author. They will be revised when official specifications of the aircraft are revealed by the manufacturer.

The Boeing T-X completed its first-flight on December 20th, 2016.

April 2017 - The second T-X prototype completed its first-flight, this lasting one hour. The flight took place on April 24th.

Boeing-Saab T-X Specifications

Service Year: 2023
Status: In-Development
Type: 5th Generation Advanced Jet Trainer Aircraft Prototype
National Origin: United States
Manufacturer(s): Boeing Company - USA / Saab - Sweden
Total Production: 2

Structural (Crew, Dimensions, Weights)

Operating Crew (Typical): 2
Overall Length: 46.42 feet (14.15 meters)
Overall Width: 32.81 feet (10.00 meters)
Overall Height: 13.12 feet (4.00 meters)

Weight (Empty): 7,165 lb (3,250 kg)
Weight (MTOW): 12,125 lb (5,500 kg)

Power / Performance (Engine Type, Top Speed)

Engine: 1 x General Electric F404 turbofan afterburning engine developing 17,200lb of thrust.

Maximum Speed: 702 knots (808 mph; 1,300 kph)
Maximum Range: 994 nautical miles (1,143 miles; 1,840 km)
Service Ceiling: 50,000 feet (15,240 meters; 9.47 miles)
Rate-of-Climb: 33,500 feet-per-minute (10,211 m/min)

Armament / Mission Payload


Global Operators (Customers, Users)

United States (possible)

Model Variants

T-X - Base USAF Program Designation

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