The T-7A Red Hawk is the new advanced pilot training system for the U.S. Air Force that will train the next generation of pilots for decades to come.
Building off the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen, the T-7A Red Hawk pays tribute to the legends of the past and the heroes of the future.
An all-new training system purpose-built for the mission, the T-7A gives the U.S. Air Force a flexible design that can adapt as technologies and training needs change.
Design and development
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 Air Force advanced the target date of initial operational capability (IOC) to 2017. In the Fiscal 2013 budget proposal, the USAF suggested delaying the initial operating capability to FY2020 with the contract award not expected before FY2016. 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.
In cooperation with its Swedish aerospace group partner, Saab Group, 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.
Boeing revealed its aircraft to the public on 13 September 2016. The first T-X aircraft flew on 20 December 2016.
On 27 September 2018, Boeing’s design was officially announced as the U.S. Air Force’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.
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.
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 plane’s tails red, and the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk.
- Two prototypes for evaluation.
- Production aircraft for the U.S. Air Force.
- United States
- United States Air Force
Data from Flight Global, militaryfactory.com
- Crew: 2
- Length: 46 ft 5.0 in (14.15 m)
- Wingspan: 32 ft 9.7 in (10 m)
- Height: 13 ft 1.4 in (4.0 m)
- Powerplant: 1 × General Electric F404 afterburning turbofan, 11,000 lbf (49 kN) thrust dry, 17,700 lbf (79 kN) with afterburner
- Maximum speed: 808 mph (1,300 km/h, 702 kn)
- Range: 1,143 mi (1,839 km, 994 nmi)
- Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,240 m)
- Rate of climb: 33,500 ft/min (170 m/s)
- Stephen Trimble (24 April 2017). “Boeing/Saab fly second T-X test aircraft”. FlightGlobal.com.
- Trimble, Stephan (22 June 2010), “US Air Force, industry prepare for T-38 replacement”, Flight International, retrieved 20 September 2010.
- “USAF delays T-38 trainer replacement to 2020”. Flight global. 17 February 2012. Retrieved 24 February 2013.
- “Budget constraints delay new trainer”, Air force times, 15 May 2013.
- “Boeing and Saab Sign Joint Development Agreement on T-X Family of Systems Training Competition”. Boeing. Archived from the original on 2017-12-31. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
- Clark, Colin. “Boeing Takes T-X Lead as Northrop Joins Raytheon & Drops Out of T-X”. Breaking Defense. Archived from the original on 2017-04-16. Retrieved 2017-04-16.
- “Boeing T-X Advanced Pilot Training system” (PDF). Saab. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-12-21. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- “Boeing T-X Sees the Light”. Boeing. Archived from the original on 2017-05-04. Retrieved 2017-04-10.
- “Boeing and Saab complete first T-X flight”. Flight Global. 20 December 2016. Archived from the original on 31 May 2019. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- Niles, Russ (20 December 2016). “Boeing/Saab T-X First Flight”. AVweb. Archivedfrom the original on 24 December 2016. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
- “Air Force awards $9B contract to Boeing for next training jet”. Defense News. 2018-09-27. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- “Air Force awards next-generation fighter and bomber trainer”. Saab. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- O’Connor, Kate (2 October 2018). “Air Force Selects New Combat Trainer”. AVweb. Archived from the original on 19 October 2018. Retrieved 3 October 2018.
- “Boeing: It’s Official: Boeing Wins T-X!”. Boeing.com. Archived from the original on 2019-01-22. Retrieved 2019-01-22.
- “Saab announces new U.S. site for advanced manufacturing and production”. Saab Corporate. Archived from the original on 2019-05-09. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- “Saab’s global defense and security company lands in Indiana, to open site near Purdue University”. Purdue. Archived from the original on 2019-05-08. Retrieved 2019-05-09.
- “This is the name of the Air Force’s new training jet”. Defense News. 16 September 2019. Retrieved 17 September 2019.
- FAA REGISTRY N-Number Inquiry Results N381TX
- FAA REGISTRY N-Number Inquiry Results N382TX
- “Boeing-Saab T-X 5th Generation Advanced Jet Trainer Aircraft Prototype – United States”. militaryfactory.com. Archived from the original on 28 September 2018. Retrieved 28 September 2018.