Boeing (NYSE: BA) and the U.S. Air Force celebrated the delivery of the 100th T-38C Talon jet trainer modified as part of the T-38 Avionics Upgrade Program. During a ceremony yesterday at the Boeing modification facility at Williams Gateway Airport, Ariz., Boeing presented the milestone aircraft to Maj. Gen. Scott Bergren, commander, U.S. Air Force Ogden Air Logistics Center, Hill Air Force Base, Utah.
Deliveries of the upgraded T-38 began in November 2000 following an engineering and manufacturing development program. The 90 Boeing people who work on the T-38 AUP program at Williams Gateway have implemented numerous Lean techniques, reducing cycle time and delivering aircraft to the customer ahead of schedule.
"The T-38 Avionics Upgrade Program is successful because our job is clear to each member of the team," said David Spong, president of Aerospace Support for Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. "We must return an essential asset back to the Air Education and Training Command so that these improved aircraft can help prepare men and women to wear the silver wings of an Air Force pilot."
This 100th aircraft will be flown to Columbus Air Force Base, Miss.
Under the T-38 Avionics Upgrade Program, Boeing is upgrading more than 500 of the advanced-jet training aircraft. The jets feature a large-field-of-view head-up display in the front cockpit; multi-functional displays, electronic engine displays and up-front control panels in both cockpits; an integrated global positioning system/inertial navigation system; and a traffic collision avoidance system.
The Avionics Upgrade Program is part of the Air Force Pacer Classic initiative that will extend the life of the advanced supersonic trainers until 2040. The upgrade program will significantly improve the avionics reliability of the T-38 and reduce support costs for the Air Force. The program will allow the Air Force to meet new national airspace requirements.
A unit of The Boeing Company, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems, is one of the world's largest space and defense businesses. Headquartered in St. Louis, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems is a $23 billion business. It provides systems solutions to its global military, government and commercial customers. It is a leading provider of intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; the world's largest military aircraft manufacturer; the world's largest satellite manufacturer and a leading provider of space-based communications; the primary systems integrator for U.S. missile defense; NASA's largest contractor; and a global leader in launch services.