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T-7 Red Hawk
Role Advanced trainer
National origin United States/Sweden
Manufacturer Boeing / Saab Group
First flight 20 December 2016
Status Development
Primary user United States Air Force
Number built 2[1]

The Boeing/Saab T-7 Red Hawk, originally known as the Boeing T-X, is an American/Swedish advanced jet trainer developed by Boeing Defense, Space & Security in partnership with Saab Group. It was selected on 27 September 2018 by the United States Air Force (USAF) as the winner of the T-X program to replace the Northrop T-38 Talon.

Design and development[edit | edit source]

The USAF's Air Education and Training Command (AETC) began developing the requirements for a replacement for the Northrop T-38 Talon as early as 2003. Originally, the replacement trainer was expected to enter service around 2020. A fatigue failure in 2008 killed the two-person crew of a T-38C, and the USAF advanced the target date of initial operational capability (IOC) to 2017.[2] In the Fiscal 2013 budget proposal, the USAF suggested delaying the initial operating capability to FY2020 with the contract award not expected before FY2016.[3] Shrinking budgets and higher priority modernization projects pushed the IOC of the T-X program winner to "fiscal year 2023 or 2024". Although the program was left out of the FY 2014 budget entirely, the service still viewed the trainer as a priority.[4]

In cooperation with its Swedish aerospace group partner, Saab Group,[5][6] Boeing's submission to the competition was the Boeing T-X, a single-engine advanced jet trainer with a twin tail, tandem seating and retractable tricycle landing gear. The submitted aircraft and demonstration models were powered by a General Electric F404 afterburning turbofan engine.[7]

Boeing revealed its aircraft to the public on 13 September 2016.[8] The first T-X aircraft flew on 20 December 2016.[9][10]

On 27 September 2018, Boeing's design was officially announced as the USAF's new advanced jet trainer, replacing the T-38 Talon. A total of 351 aircraft and 46 simulators, maintenance training and support are to be supplied at a program cost of US$9.2 billion.[11][12][13][14]

U.S. Air Force publicity photo of the T-7A Red Hawk showing Red Tail livery

In May 2019, Saab announced that it would open a U.S. manufacturing facility for the T-X in Indiana in partnership with Purdue University.[15][16]

On 16 September 2019, the USAF officially named the aircraft the "T-7A Red Hawk" as a tribute to the Tuskegee Airmen, who painted their airplanes' tails red, and to the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, one of the aircraft flown by the Tuskegee Airmen.[17][18]

Variants[edit | edit source]

BTX-1
Two prototypes for evaluation.[19][20]
T-7A
Production aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.

Operators[edit | edit source]

United States

Specifications[edit | edit source]

Data from Flight Global[9][21]

General characteristics

  • Crew: 2
  • Powerplant: 1 × General Electric F404-GE-103 afterburning turbofan, 11,000 lbf (49 kN) thrust dry, 17,000 lbf (76 kN) with afterburner

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Trimble, Stephen (24 April 2017). "Boeing/Saab fly second T-X test aircraft". FlightGlobal. https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeingsaab-fly-second-t-x-test-aircraft-436496/. Retrieved 26 April 2017. 
  2. Trimble, Stephan (22 June 2010). "US Air Force, industry prepare for T-38 replacement". http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2010/06/22/343393/us-air-force-industry-prepare-for-t-38-replacement.html. Retrieved 20 September 2010. .
  3. "USAF delays T-38 trainer replacement to 2020". Flight global. 17 February 2012. http://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/usaf-delays-t-38-trainer-replacement-to-2020-368456/. Retrieved 24 February 2013. 
  4. "Budget constraints delay new trainer". 15 May 2013. http://www.airforcetimes.com/article/20130515/NEWS/305150023/Budget-constraints-delay-new-trainer. .
  5. "Boeing and Saab Sign Joint Development Agreement on T-X Family of Systems Training Competition". Boeing. http://boeing.mediaroom.com/Boeing-and-Saab-Sign-Joint-Development-Agreement-on-T-X-Family-of-Systems-Training-Competition. 
  6. Clark, Colin. "Boeing Takes T-X Lead as Northrop Joins Raytheon & Drops Out of T-X". Breaking Defense. http://breakingdefense.com/2017/02/boeing-takes-t-x-lead-as-northrop-joins-raytheon-drops-out-of-t-x/. 
  7. "Boeing T-X Advanced Pilot Training system". Saab. http://saabgroup.com/globalassets/corporate/news--press/boeing-t-x-backgrounder-sept-2016.pdf. Retrieved 28 September 2018. 
  8. "Boeing T-X Sees the Light". Boeing. http://www.boeing.com/features/2016/09/tx-rollout-09-16.page. 
  9. 9.0 9.1 "Boeing and Saab complete first T-X flight". Flight Global. 20 December 2016. https://www.flightglobal.com/news/articles/boeing-and-saab-complete-first-t-x-flight-432611/. 
  10. Niles, Russ (20 December 2016). "Boeing/Saab T-X First Flight". AVweb. http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/BoeingSaab-T-X-First-Flight-228240-1.html. Retrieved 21 December 2016. 
  11. "Air Force awards $9B contract to Boeing for next training jet". Defense News. 2018-09-27. https://www.defensenews.com/breaking-news/2018/09/27/reuters-air-force-awards-9b-contract-to-boeing-for-next-training-jet/. 
  12. "Air Force awards next-generation fighter and bomber trainer". Saab. https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1647147/air-force-awards-next-generation-fighter-and-bomber-trainer/. 
  13. O'Connor, Kate (2 October 2018). "Air Force Selects New Combat Trainer". AVweb. https://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/Air-Force-Selects-New-Combat-Trainer-231619-1.html. 
  14. "Boeing: It’s Official: Boeing Wins T-X!". Boeing. https://www.boeing.com/features/2018/09/tx-wins-09-18.page. 
  15. "Saab announces new U.S. site for advanced manufacturing and production" (in en-US). Saab. https://saabgroup.com/media/news-press/news/2019-05/saab-announces-new-u.s.-site-for-advanced-manufacturing-and-production/. 
  16. "Saab's global defense and security company lands in Indiana, to open site near Purdue University" (in en-US). Purdue. https://www.purdue.edu/newsroom/releases/2019/Q2/saabs-global-defense-and-security-company-lands-in-indiana,-to-open-site-near-purdue-university.html. 
  17. "Air Force announces newest Red Tail: ‘T-7A Red Hawk’". Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs. 16 September 2019. https://www.af.mil/News/Article-Display/Article/1960964/air-force-announces-newest-red-tail-t-7a-red-hawk/. Retrieved 21 November 2019. "'The name Red Hawk honors the legacy of Tuskegee Airmen and pays homage to their signature red-tailed aircraft from World War II,' Donovan said. 'The name is also a tribute to the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk, an American fighter aircraft that first flew in 1938 and was flown by the 99th Fighter Squadron, the U.S. Army Air Forces' first African American fighter squadron.'" 
  18. "This is the name of the Air Force's new training jet". 16 September 2019. https://www.defensenews.com/digital-show-dailies/afa-air-space/2019/09/16/this-is-the-name-of-the-air-forces-new-training-jet/. Retrieved 17 September 2019. 
  19. "Inquiry Results N381TX". Registry N-Number. FAA. .
  20. "Inquiry Results N382TX". Registry N-Number. FAA. .
  21. "Popular Choice: The GE F404-powered Boeing T-7A Trainer Named to "Best of What’s New" List". General electric. https://blog.geaviation.com/product/popular-choice-the-ge-f404-powered-boeing-t-7a-trainer-named-to-best-of-whats-new-list/. .

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