Boeing started production of the new T-7A Red Hawk training jet at its plant in Saint Louis, Missouri, the United States. 

In partnership with the Swedish manufacturer Saab, Boeing started the conception of the T-7A Red Hawk after winning the TX competition, which aimed to find a replacement for the Cold War-era Northrop T-38 Talon. Saab began production work in January 2021.

Two Northrop T-38 Talon aircraft of the United States Air Force crashed during a training mission in northeastern Oklahoma. Two pilots were killed in the accident.

Only 36 months passed between the first concept of the aircraft and its maiden flight, something that Boeing says it owes to ‘digital engineering and design.’ As such, it became the first in the USAF E-Series, which designated it eT-7A. The name of Red Hawk was chosen as an homage to the African-American fighter pilots of the Second World War, the Tuskegee Airmen, who painted their planes’ tails red.

“The future of air dominance lies in the ability to move quickly, take smart risks and partner in new ways to get the job done,” said Shelley Lavender, Boeing senior vice president of Strike, Surveillance and Mobility. “By creating aircraft and systems along a digital thread, we can accelerate build times and increase quality and affordability for our customers in a way that has never been done before.”

The T-7A Red Hawk should enter service by 2023 for the advanced training of future fighter pilots. 351 aircraft were ordered by the USAF, for a total of $9.2 billion.

To demonstrate the reliability of the T-7A Red Hawk, Boeing tested the limits of its new advanced training jet by successfully conducting an in-flight shutdown and restart of its engine.