IAI Signs Huge Contract with US Air Force

The contract worth $241 million is for replacement of wings of the veteran T-38 trainer jet, which is used for education and training of undergraduate pilots, among others. A senior IAI executive called the deal "additional proof of the US Air Force's trust and recognition of the company."

 

The wing of a T-38 aircraft. Photo: IAI

The US Air Force has inked a $241 million contract with Israel Aerospace Industries for replacement of the wings of the T-38 Talon trainer plane.

In a press release announcing the deal on Thursday, the US Defense Department said the high-altitude, twin-engine, supersonic jet is used by the Air Force for a variety of missions due to its special design, ease of maintenance and high level of safety.  

According to the Defense Log website, the T-38 is mainly used by the Air Education and Training Command for undergraduate pilot training, but is also used for instruction and training of advanced pilots from various branches of the Air Force.

IAI was awarded the tender over three other competitors. The Israeli company said the contract is a professional challenge because replacement of the wings requires reverse engineering for the replacement of the old wings with the new and advanced ones.

In a press release, IAI said it has been producing wings for the T-38 since 2011. Yossi Melamed, IAI's executive vice president and general manager of the aviation group, called winning the tender "proof of the US Air Force's trust and recognition of IAI" in the field of aircraft components.

"IAI serves as a center of excellence in the field of production of wings for the F-16, F-35 and T-38, and it will continue to produce the wings for the T-38 at a high quality that meets the demands of the client, while meeting the required schedule. We thank the Air Force and the US government for the opportunity to continue producing these wings in the coming years, and are proud to continue to support the continuing flights of the T-38 aircraft." 

 

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