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​Because the Air Force will not receive its full complement of 350 T-X trainers until 2034, another tranche of T-38 aircraft will be modified and re-winged under a program dubbed Pacer Classic III, Air Education and Training Command plans and requirements chief Brig. Gen. Andrew Croft told reporters at​ ASC16. “The fact that we’re now on the third iteration of these modifications of a 50-year-old airplane tells you” the T-X program is long overdue, Croft said. The T-38s will “be around a while longer” as T-X delivers, said Gen. Darryl Roberson, head of AETC, who observed that “we have to maintain the viability” of the T-38 until its replacement comes along. Croft said some 24 T-38s will probably have to get the service life extension program to meet AETC’s pilot production quotas. However, “if we can buy more T-Xs more quickly,” the mod may not be needed. The new T-X will allow AETC to teach more essential skills during undergraduate pilot training, allowing those students flying the T-X to have a shorter syllabus, but the T-38’s deficiencies require those who train on it to get further training after UPT, Roberson said.