Undergraduate Jet Training System (UJTS)


ACCESS: Confidential
5 December 2021
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In its effort to replace the aging T-45 trainers, the Navy put out a Request for Information last August for what’s officially dubbed the “Undergraduate Jet Training System (UJTS).” It indicated a minimum buy of 145 aircraft and a contract award in 2026. That means a Request for Proposal could drop by the end of this year or early 2025, which would see the contest officially kick off.

From the article:
A big part of the Textron-Leonardo team’s pitch is that the M346 isn’t just a jet, but is tied into a whole training enterprise that is already in use on a global scale, including international F-35 pilot training. Italy, Poland, Singapore, Israel, Greece and Qatar are all M-346 operators — and all but Qatar are either current or planned operators of the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

“It’s not just the airplane, it’s a pull-up simulation system. It’s developed courseware. It’s a way of teaching that’s already been validated for countries that are flying the F-35 today,” Thomas Webster, Textron Aviation Defense’s vice president of global sales and strategy, told Breaking Defense during last week’s Sea Air Space symposium. “The strength we think we bring is that they’re going to go from contract to actually starting to turn out students much quicker than any other competitors.”

In particular, Webster and a set of executives from Leonardo emphasized the benefits of the International Flight Training School, a joint project between the Italian military and Leonardo, located in Decimomannu, Italy. Training at that facility is based around the M346, and a number of current or future F-35 operators — including Japan, Germany, Singapore, Austria, Canada, and the United Kingdom — have announced plans to take part in the school.

While cautioning that the final RFP from the Navy isn’t out yet, Webster said there should only be “minor tweaks” needed to turn the M346 into what the companies are pitching as the “M346-N.”

For instance, the M346 is capable of doing Field Carrier Landing Practice — basically, touch-and-go operations on land that are supposed to simulate landing on a carrier — now. But the recent Navy RFI said the jet needs to be able to perform 35,000 such exercises over the life of the plane, which may require tightening up of the plane’s landing gear.

Then there’s updating software to match the Navy’s most recent version of its Precision Landing Mode system for carrier landings. However, until final requirements are written, it remains to be seen exactly what the industry team would need to do.
Without a power increase to match the expected grow in empty mass, it is doubtful that the M346 will have an easy path to success.
Against the T-7, it was already limited by a lack of engine power.
Also, IMOHO, the landing gear looks a bit short for carrier operations.
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Here a great interview between Youtuber and former F-14 RIO Ward "Mooch" Carroll and former Hornet pilot David "DW" Kindley, Director Leonardo US Aircraft, about Leonardo's approach to Undergraduate Jet Training System (UJTS). :cool:
Ward Mooch Carroll said:
The Navy’s Next Flight School is Radically Different
A conversation with former Hornet pilot David "DW" Kindley, Director Leonardo US Aircraft, about what the next generation of U.S. Navy flight training will look like and how radically different it will be from the current model.
View: https://youtu.be/I-8SQ5Slsyc?si=oc-l0Qw-TKWZknoB
Great interview. Great content. Looking forward for the PLM video.

The camber variation usage for pitch is something also available by differently actuation for roll (something used by the Su-57 with its LEVCONs).
Navy delays UJTS.

U.S. Navy Pushes Back T-45 Replacement Timeline
Brian Everstine June 27, 2024
The U.S. Navy is pushing back the potential contract award for a new trainer by two years as it still tries to determine whether the T-45 Goshawk replacement would need to practice carrier landings.

The service released another request for information (RFI) for the Undergraduate Jet Training System on June 26, saying the service is now looking at a potential solicitation in the third quarter of fiscal 2026 and a contract award in the second quarter of fiscal 2028. A previous RFI said a contract award was targeted for 2026.

In the RFI, the Navy says it is “still carefully considering whether the UJTS air vehicle will need to conduct Field Carrier Landing Practice to touchdown,” with the program office planning to release more information when the Naval Aviation Enterprise makes the decision. No timeline was provided. While the Navy appears to have decided the T-45 replacement would not need to land on aircraft carriers at sea, the solicitation shows leaders are still debating on the need to land on airfields set up to represent a carrier deck.

With the proliferation of software control systems to assist pilots landing on carriers, the Navy has reduced its requirement for student pilots to train for it.

The RFI includes a list of attributes that the Navy wants for the aircraft, including the capability for 0.9 Mach, 20 deg. sustained angle of attack, 6g maximum sustained turn rate and a 41,000-ft. ceiling. The aircraft needs a minimum fatigue life of 10,000 hr. and 35,000 landings.

It also needs to be capable of six to 10 unflared landings per training event, and capable of flared landings for the aircraft’s service life.

The focus on long-term, sustained unflared landings is the driver of cost and schedule uncertainty for the program. The three publicly disclosed contestants for the program are not designed to take that type of beating, and would require re-engineering to the point where some industry officials have said UJTS would become an engineering and manufacturing development program.

Boeing has put forward a Navy version of its T-7A Red Hawk trainer, which it is developing for the U.S. Air Force’s T-38 replacement. Lockheed Martin is offering the TF-50N, a new version of its T-50 that it has partnered on with Korea Aerospace Industries. Current T-50 operators include Indonesia, Iraq, Malaysia, the Philippines, Poland, South Korea and Thailand.
Textron and Leonardo have teamed up to offer the M-346N, a modified version of the M-346 that is operating in several countries including Italy, Poland and Singapore.

Another possible competitor could be Sierra Nevada Corp., which has teased a U.S. Navy trainer-painted rendering of its Freedom. SNC teamed with Turkish Aerospace Industries to offer the aircraft, a modified version of the TAI Hurjet.

The Navy’s fiscal 2025 budget request hinted at a potential program delay, with no long-term funding outlined. Previous solicitations have called for 145 jets to be delivered over a seven-year period.

In the meantime, the Navy has faced problems with its T-45 fleet, including multiple safety pauses and engine problems that have limited the trainer’s mission capability.

I really can't see SNC's proposal having a snowball's chance in the sun of the USN buying it.

A mostly-Turkish design with Turkish involvement in the engineering and production?
When we are denying the Turks F-35s because they are too buddy-buddy with Russia?
The S-400 deal was pushed on by Pentagon; the whole story far too prolonged.

The through examinations of it have provided a lot of impetus to American initiatives since then; the whole story far too political.

SNC is a chosen instrument of certain palliative American strategies; the whole story, well...

The delays mentioned in OP basically result from the election cycle in Turkey. This has to be underlined here regardless of any distate for politics.

Yet another Roper initiative that greenlighted all across the board. Meaning what will win in this competition is known since before 2020.

A certain guy can not reject it outright because of the American manpower long provided. But has clear confidence in the delegated PR person who is suitably a massive failure in everything. Meaning the US Vision does not correspond to others', political demands are unacceptable and yes, a snowball in hell. Which simply means if the method is successfully applied to the end, USN might lease foreign naval aircraft for a limited number of final qualification flights onboard.

But the Turkish trainer jet will not fail as a carrier aircraft. This is known.

Yes, there will be some to object to this as it is their unmatched brains that brought this to fruition helped by the changes in the country. If they want to believe so. I recommend them to shut up.

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