Tuesday, December 6, 2022

U.S. Air Force awards Northrop Grumman with contract for T-38 and F-5 sustaining engineering

The U.S. Air Force on 2 April awarded Northrop Grumman contract for T-38 and F-5 sustaining engineering, according to a U.S. Department of Defense statement.

The contract, from U.S. Air Force Life Cycle Management Center and announced on Tuesday, is valued at more than $22 million and provides for sustaining engineering services of T-38 and F-5 aircraft.

Work will be performed in Clearfield, Utah, and is expected to be complete by March 31, 2024.


The Department of Defense noted that This award is the result of a sole-source acquisition. Fiscal 2019 operations and maintenance funds in the amount of $2 million are being obligated at the time of award.

The Northrop F-5 and T-38 family of lightweight fighter and high-performance trainer aircraft are an example of one of the most successful aircraft development and production programs of the last several decades.

In total, over 3800 aircraft of five main derivative types were built over a span of approximately 30 years, ending in 1988.

The T-38 Talon is a twin-engine, high-altitude, supersonic jet trainer used in a variety of roles because of its design, economy of operations, ease of maintenance, high performance and exceptional safety record. Air Education and Training Command is the primary user of the T-38 for joint specialized undergraduate pilot training. Air Combat Command, Air Force Materiel Command and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration also use the T-38A in various roles.

As to F-5, this is an agile, highly maneuverable, reliable supersonic fighter, combining advanced aerodynamic design, engine performance and low operating costs. More than 2,600 were built by Northrop Grumman and under co-production and licensing agreements with Canada, the Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Spain and Switzerland. The U.S. Navy operates the F-5 in its adversary squadrons to simulate enemy aircraft in aerial combat training exercises. The U.S. Air Force uses the F-5 in a similar training role.

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About this Author

Dylan Malyasov
Defense journalist and commentator. Aviation photographer. Dylan leads Defence Blog's coverage of global military news, focusing on engineering and technology across the U.S. defense industry.