A major issue for U.S. defense planners is the shrinking U.S. aerospace and defense sector. Decades of consolidation has reduced the number of competitors in the major product lines to less than a handful of prime contractors. So it is reassuring, even remarkable, when a major new procurement program is able to attract no fewer than four serious competitors, perhaps more. The request for proposals to provide a new Air Force trainer, or T-X, includes the nation’s premier aircraft design and production companies, Boeing and Lockheed Martin as well as Leonardo DRS (formerly Finmeccanica) and Sierra Nevada Corporation. I have written more about this competition for The National Interest here.
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