Tuskegee trying to become Air Force trainer manufacture site

Bentley makes announcement during news conference Thursday

Leonardo will build its T-100 aircraft in the United States if the company wins the U.S. Air Force's T-X trainer replacement competition.

The 2-3 million dollar facility would create close to 750 jobs.Joe Turnham, Director of Macon County Economic Development says "we think that number could go up to maybe 1,000 employees and those are direct jobs those aren't indirect jobs of retail or service industry, sub suppliers that may wan to locate here".

Leonardo would lease a new facility that would be constructed at Moton Field through a public-private partnership in Macon County. The project would begin in 2019 and its total investment in the T-100 project's buildings, infrastructure and equipment would exceed $200 million to $250 million. "Future American military pilots can learn on the world's most operationally proven, low-cost, low-risk integrated training system developed by a skilled USA workforce".

"American military pilots can train on the world's most operationally proven, low-cost, low-risk integrated training system and the local economy will benefit from the development of a new centre of excellence building high quality jobs." said Mauro Moretti, CEO and General Manager of Leonardo, explaining that "The T-100 features an embedded training system, fifth-generation cockpit, open system architecture and in-flight refuelling capability and is created to receive mission-focused next-generation enhancements to meet the demanding requirements by the U.S. Air Force".

Alabama Governor Robert Bentley announced on Thursday that Leonardo-DRS, a global aerospace, and defense firm, has placed a bid with the U.S. Air Force competition to assemble aircraft at Tuskegee's Moton Airfield.

Bentley's announcement comes the same day as the Air Force deadline for T-X bids.

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