Up to six industry teams are preparing to fight in one of the most significant aircraft battles of the decade, the recently launched U.S. Air Force next-generation trainer contract, valued at $16.3 billion for 350 aircraft. A request for proposals for the so-called Advanced Pilot Training program was released on Dec. 30, triggering the Air Force’s fourth major weapons competition of the year, after the Northrop Grumman E-8C Joint Stars replacement effort on Dec. 28 and next-generation ...

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