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Ozair
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Separate USAF training aircraft award for Reforge pilot training

Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:15 pm

A bit confusing as I’m not familiar with the terminology but it looks like the USAF is acquiring a different aircraft to the T-7A, called the F/T-7X, to use for the short training course (the IFF but becoming Reforge) before they go on to their formal training units. The intent, I think, is to cut down training time for more experienced new aircrew. Apparently the aircraft requires a radar and similar capabilities to the T-7A and hence expectations are that the LM T-50 that lost to the Boeing T-7A will be acquired.

Calling it the F/T-7X has got to be confusing though...

USAF to contract F/T-7X aircraft for fighter pilot training

The US Air Force (USAF) plans to contract a small number of trainer aircraft to teach skills specific to air combat under its Reforge proof of concept (RFX) programme.

A notice of intent to award a sole-source contract to Hillwood Aviation for between four and eight advanced trainer aircraft to provide a total "turn-key" flying solution out of Langley Air Force Base (AFB) in Virginia was posted on behalf of the USAF's Air Combat Command (ACC). These aircraft will be designated F/T-7X, in line with the T-7A designation recently given to the Boeing-Saab Redhawk that was selected to satisfy the USAF's wider T-X Advanced Pilot Training (APT) requirement.

"ACC [has] drafted a concept of operations to rebuild the current fighter training forge (Reforge CONOP) employing an F/T-7X, ACC variant of the T-7, in a 12-month focused training programme. The CONOP deliberately develops and experiences fighter aviators with relevant tactical skills prior to their fighter's Formal Training Unit (FTU). Reforge pilots will be eligible for the FTU/Track-1 course, taking about half as long as the Basic course", the notification said.

As noted by the ACC, the new aircraft should have similar capabilities to the T-7A Redhawk that is currently in its engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase, and will provide approximately 3,000 sorties/4,500 flight hours annually for one day short of five years.

The notification states that the Acquisition Management Integration Center (AMIC) has identified Dallas-based Hillwood Aviation as the only source capable of providing aircraft with an active radar capable of detecting a fighter-sized target no later than 20 miles or the ability to install one without lapse or disruption of service within one year; with an embedded (synthetic) training system, or the ability to install one without lapse or disruption of service within one year; and with a closure rate of at least 1,100 kt when conducting in-unit air-to-air combat training.

...

https://www.janes.com/article/95008/usa ... t-training
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Separate USAF training aircraft award for Reforge pilot training

Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:32 pm

When you graduate UPT on the fighter track, you first go to IFF prior to formal course RTU. There you learn how to fly fighters, not trainers. This plane will replace the T-38Cs. ACC has long wanted something less expensive but fully equipped (radar, bombing) for IFF.
 
Ozair
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Re: Separate USAF training aircraft award for Reforge pilot training

Mon Mar 23, 2020 9:50 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
When you graduate UPT on the fighter track, you first go to IFF prior to formal course RTU. There you learn how to fly fighters, not trainers. This plane will replace the T-38Cs. ACC has long wanted something less expensive but fully equipped (radar, bombing) for IFF.

Makes sense, the RAAF has a similar process with the Hawk 127 where aircrew do a 14 week Intro to Fighter course before conducting a 20 week A2A and A2G course still in the Hawk and then progress to Hornet, now F-35 conversion.

Question is why not wait a couple of years and start pushing a modded T-7A to this unit?
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: Separate USAF training aircraft award for Reforge pilot training

Mon Mar 23, 2020 11:02 pm

Why? They’re probably already behind the timeline the way DOD procurement works.
 
Ozair
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Re: Separate USAF training aircraft award for Reforge pilot training

Thu Jun 25, 2020 12:26 am

Looks like the protest on a single source contract has been either upheld or the USAF has opened it up knowing they were going to lose. One of the side effects is now more aircraft being sought.

US Air Force expands Reforge advanced training aircraft procurement

The US Air Force (USAF) has increased the number of its Reforge proof of concept (RFX) advanced trainer aircraft that it wants to acquire while also opening it up to competition.

...

The air force now expects to lease at least eight advanced trainer aircraft via a competition and have these aircraft delivered by mid-2021. This is according to a 21 May proof of concept posted on the beta.sam.gov federal contracting website.

...

https://www.janes.com/defence-news/news ... rocurement
 
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bikerthai
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Re: Separate USAF training aircraft award for Reforge pilot training

Fri Jun 26, 2020 3:28 pm

After reading a couple of articles, I get the feeling that these are just temporary leased aircraft to prove out training concepts before the T-7 is available for training.

On the back end, they will also be a hedge in case T-7 can not meet the requirements for the higher end training of which the Air Force also plan to use.

The time line is such that they want the airplanes soon - 2021, long before the T-7 will be ready. So this lease deal will be pretty much of-the-shelf design.

bt
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mmo
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Re: Separate USAF training aircraft award for Reforge pilot training

Fri Jun 26, 2020 7:20 pm

The aircraft being used are to validate the training proposals being floated for the change. To be honest, I have no doubt the T-7 will be able to be used as the requirements for the trainer were fairly demanding. The biggest issue is getting used to DACT/ACM, HOTAS, technology which will be in the T-7 which is representative of the F-22 and F-35 and the A/R procedures.
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mmo
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Re: Separate USAF training aircraft award for Reforge pilot training

Sat Jun 27, 2020 5:29 am

Just a little more about the use of the competitor's aircraft.
https://www.defensenews.com/2020/06/25/ ... %20Roundup
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RJMAZ
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Re: Separate USAF training aircraft award for Reforge pilot training

Sat Jun 27, 2020 6:14 am

This lease deal is simply a dodgy way to allow the USAF to operate aircraft made in a foreign country.

For the T-X competition Lockheed had to create a second production line in the USA for the T-50 to comply with US law. This put the cost per aircraft of the out of date T-50 well above the state of the art Boeing T-7A.

Leasing aircraft that come off mature production line in Asia with low labour costs allows aircraft like the T-50 to hold a cost advantage.

This deal should be banned outright as it is clear attempt to bypass US procurement law.

Having the current USAF pilots fly the T-38 for another 18 months until the T-7A arrives will not result in the world ending. The corruption in the USAF must be at an all time high with the F-15X procurement and now this.
 
mmo
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Re: Separate USAF training aircraft award for Reforge pilot training

Sat Jun 27, 2020 8:56 am

I don't think you get the deal. The T-50 is not going to be purchased as an intro trainer but will be used to validate the syllabus and to see just what mods, if any, have to be made to the T-7. The T-38 doesn't have the performance required to do that and obviously an F-22/F-35/F-15/F-16 is not going to be used so the only alternative is to use a small of airframes which meet the performance requirements. There is no purchase of the airframes just a short term lease to validate the proposed syllabus.
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Ozair
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Re: Separate USAF training aircraft award for Reforge pilot training

Sat Jun 27, 2020 12:15 pm

RJMAZ wrote:
This lease deal is simply a dodgy way to allow the USAF to operate aircraft made in a foreign country.

For the T-X competition Lockheed had to create a second production line in the USA for the T-50 to comply with US law. This put the cost per aircraft of the out of date T-50 well above the state of the art Boeing T-7A.

Leasing aircraft that come off mature production line in Asia with low labour costs allows aircraft like the T-50 to hold a cost advantage.

This deal should be banned outright as it is clear attempt to bypass US procurement law.

Having the current USAF pilots fly the T-38 for another 18 months until the T-7A arrives will not result in the world ending. The corruption in the USAF must be at an all time high with the F-15X procurement and now this.

It is eight aircraft on a five year lease... I think you are overreacting a bit.

mmo wrote:
I don't think you get the deal. The T-50 is not going to be purchased as an intro trainer but will be used to validate the syllabus and to see just what mods, if any, have to be made to the T-7. The T-38 doesn't have the performance required to do that and obviously an F-22/F-35/F-15/F-16 is not going to be used so the only alternative is to use a small of airframes which meet the performance requirements. There is no purchase of the airframes just a short term lease to validate the proposed syllabus.

Not quite. As per the article from Janes I posted at the start of the thread


"ACC [has] drafted a concept of operations to rebuild the current fighter training forge (Reforge CONOP) employing an F/T-7X, ACC variant of the T-7, in a 12-month focused training programme. The CONOP deliberately develops and experiences fighter aviators with relevant tactical skills prior to their fighter's Formal Training Unit (FTU). Reforge pilots will be eligible for the FTU/Track-1 course, taking about half as long as the Basic course", the notification said.

As noted by the ACC, the new aircraft should have similar capabilities to the T-7A Redhawk that is currently in its engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase, and will provide approximately 3,000 sorties/4,500 flight hours annually for one day short of five years.


The plan is about pushing some aircrew through a faster course by combining the last phase of UPT, IFF and basic formal training into one 12 month course. Whatever is selected will get the initial five year lease and if all goes well I expect at least another five years until there are enough T-7s available. It's also possible the USAF will hold on to the jet and keep the program going, dependent on how successful it is. The T-7 taking over is also contingent on it being able to meet the course requirements.

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