ST. LOUIS - ST. LOUIS COUNTY - Boeing unveiled a new aircraft at its defense headquarters on Tuesday. There are high hopes the T-X Trainer will help land Boeing a new contract with the U.S. Air Force.
The aircraft was designed in 2013. Boeing teamed up with Saab, a Swedish company, to build the plane. Those behind it say it's the future of Air Force training.
"We took a page out of what the Air Force industry has been asking for for years by putting an open mission systems architecture in the airplane," said Darryl Davis, president of Boeing Defense Phantom Works.
He says the aircraft's design allows it to evolve with changing technology and training needs.
"It is the iPhone of airplanes," Davis said. "So when a new training app comes along, it's really easy to upload that training app, verify the jet and you're ready to fly."
If the U.S. Air Force selects the T-X, it will replace the T-38. However, there are three other companies in competition with Boeing to sign a contract with the Air Force.
Photos: The new Boeing T-X aircraft
"We are going to win this tender, of course, but I believe this has a huge potential around the world," said Hakan Buskhe, president and CEO of Saab. "There are many countries, maybe not so friendly to our way of living, increasing their funding and building new capability. You have to have a new capability and a new system for training. That's the T-X program that can do that job."
The company released a “sneak peek gallery” of the T-X on its website.