FALLS CHURCH, Va., Jan. 17, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- General Dynamics (NYSE: GD) and Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, announced today the signing of a Letter of Intent (LOI) to join forces and compete for the U.S. Air Force's T-X trainer program, which will replace aging T-38 trainer jets and related training systems. The agreement leverages General Dynamics' legacy of successfully integrating and delivering large, complex systems to the U.S. Air Force, Army, Navy and other government customers with Alenia Aermacchi's proven jet training aircraft and demonstrated manufacturing capability. General Dynamics C4 Systems, a business unit of General Dynamics, will serve as the prime contractor.
Together, the team will offer a fully integrated advanced pilot training system built around the Alenia Aermacchi T-100, a market variant of the company's established M-346 military aircraft trainer. As the prime contractor, General Dynamics will bring its proven experience in systems integration and sub-contract management to deliver an Advanced Pilot Training (APT) Family of Systems (FoS) consisting of aircraft, flight simulation devices, multi-media classrooms and logistics support. The T-100 Integrated Training System will incorporate any unique U.S. Air Force requirements and will be built in the United States with an emphasis on United States-made components and equipment.
Alenia Aermacchi's M-346 is an advanced jet trainer that is currently training the world's air forces to operate fourth and fifth generation air-combat aircraft. Currently in production for international customers including the Israeli, Italian and Singaporean Air Forces, the M-346 has also been selected by the United Arab Emirates as their advanced aircraft trainer.
"The combined strengths of General Dynamics and Alenia Aermacchi's T-100 will deliver a best-in-class training system ensuring that the U.S. Air Force's next generation of fighter pilots are fully prepared to defend the nation and our allies, regardless of the mission," said Jerry DeMuro, executive vice president of Information Systems and Technology for General Dynamics. "Leveraging aircraft and systems that are already proven internationally saves significant development time and cost for the Air Force and includes an unprecedented level of safety for the trainees as they train and fly."Giuseppe Giordo, chief executive officer for Alenia Aermacchi, said, "This LOI brings together the world's best and most efficient pilot training system in the T-100 and a leading U.S. prime defense contractor in General Dynamics. The General Dynamics and Alenia Aermacchi team will present the most technologically advanced and affordable training solution for the U.S. Air Force."