Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) Ltd., Lod, Israel, has been awarded a $240,000,000 estimated ceiling indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity contract for the acquisition of T-38 trainer aircraft replacement wings. The deal was the result of a competitive bid process with four offers were received, the Department of Defense said. Work will be performed in Lod, Israel, and is expected to be complete by January 2023. Fiscal 2020 consolidated sustainment activity group working capital funds in the amount of $34,426,532 are being obligated at the time of award. U.S. Air Force Sustainment Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah, is the contracting activity.
IAI has participated in US Air Force (USAF) T-38 wing upgrade program since at least 2015, when it delivered the first replacement wing for the aircraft. With the USAF decision to continue operating the T-38 aircraft, potential orders under the contract between the USAF and IAI could reach over 200 sets of T-38 wings. The first IAI replacement wing milestone marks the successful results of a challenging process which included reverse engineering and having to transform the original T-38 drawings into advanced 3-D models. With the USAF decision to continue operating the T-38 aircraft, potential orders under the contract between the USAF and IAI could reach over 200 sets of T-38 wings.
The Northrop T-38 Talon is a two-seat, twinjet supersonic jet trainer. It was the world’s first supersonic trainer and is also the most produced. The T-38 remains in service as of 2019 in several air forces. The United States Air Force operates the most T-38s. The U.S. Naval Test Pilot School is the principal US Navy operator. Pilots of other NATO nations fly the T-38 in joint training programs with USAF pilots. Nearly 1,200 Talons were produced from 1961-72, and more than 500 are currently operational with the Air Force and NASA. As of 2019, the T-38 has been in service for over 50 years with its original operator, the United States Air Force.
Northrop Grumman Corporation has produced a replacement wing for the T-38 that will help to extend the service life of the aircraft, introduced in 1961, until at least 2020. T-38 wings are single units from tip to tip, constructed of aluminum alloys with control surfaces reinforced with internal honeycomb. Design improvements developed from usage and were retrofitted into many operational T-38’s. Northrop Grumman was awarded a $22 million contract in April 2019 for work on replacement wings, intended to extend the life of the aircraft.