Air Force Secretary Heather Wilson has said the contract award for the service branch’s new trainer aircraft is likely to be delayed if Congress resorts to a continuing resolution to fund the Defense Department, Defense News reported Friday.
The report said the military branch is expected to award this year the T-X contract that covers the production of 350 trainer jets.
Industry teams vying for the T-X trainer contract include Boeing and Saab; Lockheed Martin and Korean Aerospace Industries; and Leonardo, according to the report.
Wilson said in a Thursday interview a CR could also delay the Air Force’s efforts to hire additional pilots and cybersecurity professionals.
“You probably have a hard freeze, if not a chill, on hiring,” she said.
“This becomes very quickly an extremely difficult problem.”
Wilson said she is concerned that issues such as Hurricane Harvey’s aftermath and North Korea’s missile threats could divert Congress’ attention away from military funding efforts.