Curious about how global aerospace company Leonardo’s Alabama workforce would manufacture the U.S. Air Force’s next-generation trainer aircraft if it’s picked for the role?
Leonardo announced plans in March for an advanced manufacturing center in Tuskegee for its T-100 trainer jet, one of the contenders in an Air Force competition to replace its aging fleet of T-38 aircraft. In November, an Alabama delegation got a first-hand look at how Leonardo manufactures advanced training aircraft during a tour of a company factory in Italy.
A fast-paced video from Leonardo DRS shows how T-100s would be manufactured at the Alabama facility.
Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce, led the delegation of state and Macon County officials who traveled to Leonardo’s aircraft manufacturing facility in Venegono Superiore in mid-November.
While there, the Alabama group received a briefing from Leonardo executives who said preparations for the Tuskegee manufacturing center are on track.
Canfield said the aircraft factory would have a massive economic impact on Macon County and the surrounding area.
“The T-100 factory would create an anchor for a new aviation manufacturing industry in Tuskegee with high-paying jobs and tremendous long-term growth prospects,” he said.
“It’s not an exaggeration to say the Leonardo facility would create new opportunities for citizens and businesses in Macon County that would change the trajectory of the entire region.”
Leonardo’s manufacturing center would be built at Moton Field, where the celebrated Tuskegee Airmen fighter pilots trained during World War II.
Leonardo’s twin-engine M-346 aircraft is already being used to train pilots to fly next-generation fighter aircraft. The T-100 is based on the proven M-346, which has been selected for a training role by Italy, Israel, Singapore and Poland.
Leonardo said its project in Tuskegee calls for the creation of 750 full-time jobs.
An Air Force decision on the trainer jet competition is expected next spring.
This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce’s Made in Alabama website.
Read an interview with Tuskegee Mayor Tony Haygood on what the T-100 factory would mean for the area.