Leonardo, the Italian aerospace company has decided to re-enter the Air Forces’ T-X competition to replace the T-39 jet trainer without its former partner on the project Raytheon.

Just a couple weeks ago Raytheon and Leonardo announced they were dropping out of the competition but the wording of Raytheon’s statement, “Consequently, Raytheon and Leonardo will not jointly pursue the T-X competition” sheds some light on this new twist.

Photo of T-100 Simulator by Leonardo

“Leonardo is proud to confirm its participation in the U.S. Air Force T-X competition with its T-100 integrated training system,” it said in a release. “Leonardo will leverage its U.S. company, Leonardo DRS, as the prime contractor, bringing to bear Leonardo’s leading aeronautical and simulation expertise to deliver a fully integrated solution in the best interests of the Air Force.”

The company further stated the “T-100 will be a U.S.-based program that will bring significant economic benefits to the country through a newly established and skilled U.S. workforce, in addition to the technological and industrial capabilities embedded in newly built U.S.-based manufacturing facilities.” – DoDBuzz

The T-100 training jet is a twin engine, two seat aircraft based on the Leonardo M-346 Advanced Jet Trainer/Light Strike Aircraft.

The company states that Honeywell will build the engines for the aircraft at their plant in Phoenix, Arizona. In addition, the T-100 aircraft would be built in the United States at a yet to be determined manufacturing site.

Featured image of T-100 trainer by Leonardo