On Tuesday, the U.S. Air Force said that the Advanced Pilot Trainer, or T-X, aircraft would replace the T-38C Talon aircraft at existing undergraduate pilot training bases.
The Air Force said they expect to award the contract for the new trainer sometime in 2018.
Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph in Texas has been selected to be the first base to received the first additions of the T-X, which are set to be delivered in 2022.
“As we bring the T-X training aircraft into service, we’ll base them at our current undergraduate pilot training bases which have the airspace and runways needed for the mission,” Secretary of the Air Force Heather A. Wilson said in a press release.
The T-X aircraft is a two-seat, 5th generation, jet trainer aircraft that seeks to provide “student pilots with the skills and competencies required to transition into 4th and 5th generation fighter aircraft,” the Air Force said.
“We need the T-X program to properly train our pilots to fly our growing fleet of 5th generation aircraft,” said Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein.
“This new training capability will enable pilots to receive realistic training in a system similar to our fielded fighters.”
The Air Force says that Columbus Air Force Base in Mississippi, Laughlin AFB and Sheppard AFB in Texas, and Vance AFB in Oklahoma will receive the new jet training aircraft at a later date.