Boeing to unveil new T-X trainer in St. Louis

BERKELEY, MO (KPLR) - Boeing unveiled today what could be a major plane for the company's future.

Boeing leaders hope it will be chosen as the jet to train the next generation of Air Force pilots.

An $11 billion contract is on the line.

The Boeing T-X was revealed this morning at the Boeing facility in Bridgeton during a high energy announcement with many Boeing employees and executives.

Boeing is one of four companies competing to develop the plane that the Air Force will buy in the future to train the next generation of air force pilots.

The overall Air Force project is called the T-X training program.

The new training plane chosen by the Air Force will replace the aging T-38 aircraft.

Darryl Davis, the President of Boeing Phantom Works, says Boeing`s T-X which has been in the works for nearly three years breaks the norm.

He says it incorporates all of the modern technology and techniques.

In fact, Davis calls the jet the training plane of the future.

'I think the most important thing that we did here was we started with a clean sheet of paper to meet the Air Force`s advanced pilot threshold requirements. That was the breakthrough-it allowed us to bring all the innovation we`ve been working on for decades in the Boeing company together into this design,' said Davis.

Boeing is partnering with Saab in this project.

Saab`s President and CEO Hakan Buskhe, told us, 'It`s a good design. And it`s a design that outside looks great of course but also the inside of the aircraft with all the systems and the capabilities.'

Winning the contract will mean a lot of jobs for the company that gets it.

The Air Force is expected to award the contract next year.

The new plane should be in operation in 2024.

Boeing officials say they are not sure where the planes will be built if they get the contract.

They say they are looking to do it in the most affordable place because they are trying to keep costs down.

We understand the winning company will build some 350 planes.