Raytheon and Finmeccanica are ready to offer the United States Air Force a new generation training aircraft

(To Finmeccanica)

Raytheon and Finmeccanica today presented their solution, based on the T-100 aircraft (derived from Finmeccanica's Aermacchi M-346), as part of the tender for the advanced training system for pilots of the United States Air Force. A completely integrated last-generation solution that sees Raytheon, one of the most important companies in the world in the field of training and avionics systems, in the role of prime contractor, together with Finmeccanica, CAE USA and Honeywell Aerospace as main partners.

"The success of our future pilots depends on a comprehensive training system that allows them to make the best use of the 4a and 5a generation first-line aircraft," said Rick Yuse, President of Raytheon's Space and Airborne Systems division. "Our solution, fully responding to the current need to contain budgets and at low risk, combines the experience gained from an aircraft already tested in the field with a series of new technologies for fully integrated training. Our team, strong in experience, skills and competences gained over the years, is the most qualified to meet the mission requirements of the United States Air Force ".

About 45.000 pilots and flight crews have 'earned their wings' with training systems designed, developed and made operational by members of the Raytheon-led team. The solution offered to the United States Air Force integrates the T-100 aircraft, an advanced variant of the Aermacchi M-346, with a state-of-the-art ground training system. "The T-100 offers high performance in flight and its tactical simulation system immerses student pilots in an extremely realistic mission scenario," said Filippo Bagnato, Head of Finmeccanica's Aircraft Division. "The M-346, on which the T-100 is based, is already operational and used for training pilots who fly on the most advanced first-line aircraft in the world."

CAE USA designs and develops some of the most sophisticated simulation systems for advanced training aircraft in the world. “We will prepare US Air Force pilots to fly safely and efficiently on the most advanced combat aircraft,” said Gene Colabatistto, Group President - Defense & Security - of CAE. "Our integrated simulation technologies will play an increasingly important role in ensuring sophisticated, safe and budget-friendly training for the US Air Force."

Honeywell Aerospace will supply the two F124 engines for the T-100 through the joint venture with International Turbine Engine Company (ITEC). With over 800.000 flight hours for the entire F124 / F125 turbofan engine family, the F124 offers the best thrust-to-weight ratio in its class, proven reliability and high efficiency. "The Honeywell F124 engine provides lightweight training and combat aircraft with maximum power, ease of maintenance, flexibility and a low lifecycle cost in all types of roles and missions," said Carey Smith, President Defense and Space by Honeywell Aerospace. "The F124 engine reduces the pilot's workload by automating new features that allow the pilot to focus on flight activity only, to successfully complete missions."