ST. LOUIS—Ever since Boeing’s winning bid for the T-X trainer contract came in last September at least $10 billion less than the U.S. Air Force’s original estimate, blowing away two established competitors with a clean-sheet aircraft design, the question has persisted: Did the Boeing and Saab team “buy in” to the program by submitting a money-losing price to secure a franchise defense contract? The answer carries strategic implications for the ...

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