Alabama Loses Air Force Training Jet Bid

Sep 28, 2018

Alabama has lost its multi-billion-dollar bid to build the next trainer jet for the U.S. Air Force at the historic home of the Tuskegee Airmen.

Developers had proposed Tuskegee's Moton Field as a site for Italian defense firm Leonardo DRS to assemble the T-100 trainer, but the Pentagon chose Boeing for the project instead.

Boeing will receive a $9.2 billion contract to produce more than 350 T-X trainer jets in addition to simulators and other equipment.

The news is a disappointment for officials who hoped an aircraft plant would be a badly-needed economic boost for the region. But Alabama Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield says it's good that the area united to pursue the aerospace factory.

The T-100 project would have brought more than 750 jobs to the region.

Boeing officials say more than 90 percent of their offering will be made in America, supporting more than 17,000 jobs in 34 states. The jets will train Air Force pilots to fly next-generation fighter jets like the new F-35 stealth fighter.