Raytheon, the company that would bring Air Force fighter-trainer manufacturing to Meridian, has backed out of the deal.
In October, Raytheon announced the decision to build in Meridian and partner with Leonardo-Finmeccanica, CAE USA, and Honeywall Aerospace to offer the T-100 to the U.S. Air Force.
Speaker Pro Tem Greg Snowden said it was a breakdown in that partnership that caused Raytheon to pull out of the Meridian plans.
“Raytheon had to back out of the Air Force competition because, for whatever reason, they could not finalize their agreement with Leonardo, their intended partner,” said Snowden.
“The decision had nothing to do with the site, the community, state or local support,” Snowden added. “Also, the decision has nothing to do with the new (Trump) Administration.”
Snowden said the Air Force still intends to move forward with a new fighter-trainer.
“It’s just that, unfortunately, it won’t be built by Raytheon,” said Snowden.
Raytheon and Leonardo released a joint statement Wednesday:
“In February 2016, Raytheon and Leonardo announced their intent to team on the T-X pursuit. While we remain confident that the T-100 is a strong solution, our companies were unable to reach a business agreement that is in the best interest of the U.S. Air Force,” said B.J. Boling, Raytheon spokesperson. “Consequently, Raytheon and Leonardo will not jointly pursue the T-X competition.”