The Air Force has indicated to industry that it has pushed a contract award for its next-generation training jet to July 2018, according to a Boeing spokeswoman.
"As part of the source-selection process, the U.S. Air Force issued an RFP amendment and evaluation notices to industry earlier this month -- including the notification that they intend to award the contract in July 2018," Boeing spokeswoman Rachelle Lockhart said in a Nov. 28 email.
The service had planned to award a contract for T-X before the end of 2017. Officials have said the award is delayed to late spring 2018, indicating the contract is tied up in the ongoing continuing resolution, which prohibits new-start programs. Service Secretary Heather Wilson said earlier this month the delay would not impact plans to begin production before in fiscal year 2018.
The Air Force would not confirm Boeing's claim, but said in a Nov. 28 statement that any projected award dates are "an approximation."
"We've previously said that the source-selection process is event-driven, not schedule-driven," service spokeswoman Capt. Emily Grabowski said in a Nov. 28 email. "The process will take as long as it takes in order to ensure the source selection team is thorough and gets the job done right. Any dates given as to when a contract will be awarded are an approximation."
Boeing is teaming with Saab to develop a clean-sheet design for the competition. Lockheed Martin and Korean Aerospace Industries team have also paired up to bid the T-50A, and Leonardo DRS has offered the T-100, a modified version of its M-346. -- Courtney Albon