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DOD Acquisition: Case Study of the Navy Undergraduate Jet Flight Training System
Development of the Navy Undergraduate Jet Flight Training System (VTXTS) began m 1975 when the Navy identified the need to replace the aging T-2R/C intermediate and TA4J advanced trainers by 1985. In 1975 the Air Development Center conducted a study that identified the critical training requirements and mission, and examined the feasibility of doing both the intermediate and advanced phases of jet pilot flight training using one advanced aircraft labeled VTX. According to program officials, from 1975 until 1978 the Naval Training Command assembled a comprehensive set of training objectives that were the basis for determining design requirements for the new training system. The naval operations sponsor and the Naval Air Systems Command group in charge of emerging new programs supervised the assembly of the training objectives and all concept formulation work Program procurement began m March 1978 when the Naval Air Development Center awarded technology base study contracts to the Douglas Aircraft Company, Northrop Corporation, Vought Corporation, and General Dynamics. These study contracts were basically for the development of new aircraft, but also allowed for the proposal of any aircraft designs the contractors believed would meet the needs of the undergraduate Jet flight training program. On November 24, 1978, a Chief of Naval Operations executive board memorandum reaffirmed the Jet Trainer requirement and recommended six alternatives for study. These alternatives were (1) extend the service life of T-2C/TA-4J aircraft, (2) modify retiring fleet aircraft, (3) reopen production lines for T-2C/TA-4J aircraft, (4) acquire new design training aircraft, (5) acquire existing modern training aircraft, and (6) a combination of all the above.
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