Textron Aviation confirmed Wednesday it won’t be offering its Scorpion jet in the upcoming Air Force T-X trainer competition.
“The T-X program is seeking a class of aircraft with a set of capabilities focused on a very different mission than that of the Scorpion jet,” Textron Aviation said Wednesday.
Had Textron bid the subsonic, clean-sheet military jet built in Wichita, it would have faced stiff competition from five other teams, including Boeing and Saab, which developed their own clean-sheet military training jet for the contract reported to be valued at $16 billion.
“The company is pursuing numerous opportunities where the capabilities of the Scorpion jet align with the mission requirements of potential customers, including the USAF OA-X program,” Textron Aviation said.
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The OA-X program is an Air Force evaluation of “off-the-shelf” airplanes aimed at providing close air support for U.S. military forces and augmenting the Air Force’s current fleet of aging A-10 Warthogs. That evaluation is expected to happen this summer.
“We look forward to receiving additional information on the OA-X program as the USAF finalizes the requirements,” the company said.
Textron Aviation flew its first production-conforming Scorpion last December, and that airplane continues its flight testing. It’s also undergoing with the Air Force a first-of-its-kind airworthiness assessment of a military aircraft the Defense Department hasn’t ordered.
That assessment could be the key to selling the airplane to foreign military services.