Israel Aerospace Lands $240 Million for U.S. Air Force T-38 Replacement Wings

Pilots with the US Air Force stand inside a hangar alongside a F-15 fighter jet and a T-38 Talon trainer jet during the inaugural Trilateral Exercise between the US Air Force, United Kingdom's Royal Air Force and the French Air Force at Joint Base Langley-Eustis in Hampton, Virginia, December 15, …
SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty

State-run Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) said Sunday it has landed a $240 million contract to provide replacement wings for U.S. Air Force T-38 training aircraft.

IAI said it has been producing the wings for the T-38s since 2011 and the work will be performed in Lod, Israel.

The deal was the result of a competitive bid process, with four applications received.

The Northrop T-38 Talon, which was entered into service in 1961, was the world’s first supersonic trainer at the time of its introduction.

During the Space Shuttle era it was established NASA tradition for astronauts to arrive at the Kennedy Space Center in T-38s.

The aircraft ceased production in 1972, but more than 500 are currently operational as trainer planes.

Student pilots fly the T-38A to learn supersonic techniques, aerobatics, formation, night and instrument flying and cross-country navigation, according to the Navy.

Northrop Grumman was awarded a $22 million contract in April 2019 for work on replacement wings, intended to extend the life of the aircraft.

IAI has participated in the T-38 wing upgrade program since at least 2015, when it delivered the first replacement wing for the aircraft.

The work is expected to be completed by January 2033.

UPI contributed to this story

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