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Rolls-Royce to Support Navy Trainer Aircraft

by: Matthew Potter
October 11, 2011

Category: Business Line, Companies, development program, logistics, Military Aviation, training | RSS 2.0

The U.S. Navy executed the third year of a contract with Rolls-Royce (RR:LSE) to provide support for the engines used in their primary trainer, the T-45 Goshawk. The T-45 is a version of the British Hawk trainer originally manufactured by McDonnell Douglas but now by Boeing (BA). The T-45 utilizes two F405 (Adour) engines from Rolls-Royce.

The contract for one years support has a value of almost $100 million.

The T-45 is a primary conversion trainer that supports transition to the F/A-18 and AV-8A jet aircraft. The Navy has received over 200 of the aircraft and it is part of an integrated Training System that utilizes simulators and instruction programs.

The U.S. Air Force is considering starting a new competition for a training aircraft to replace their elderly T-38 aircraft. This is used by that service to support transition to their advanced jet fighters and bombers. The T-38 has been in service since the Sixties and has been upgraded multiple times. The current T-38C Avionics Upgrade Program is expected to extend their life until 2020.

BAE Systems (BAE:LSE) the manufacturer of the Hawk aircraft has already indicated that they will bid a version of that aircraft called the Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer. They will do this as partners of Northrop Grumman (NOC).

The trainer and a new helicopter are the only two really new aircraft programs on the horizon for the U.S. Air Force and there are concerns that budgetary pressures may cause their delay or a decision to not go forward with them. The majority of the Air Force aircraft procurement budget is oriented towards the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) and the KC-46A tanker.

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