The US Navy fleet of McDonnell-Douglas T-45 Goshawk trainer jets will receive a new generation of oxygen supply systems to put an end to the series of hypoxia events reported in the past years.
Cobham Mission Systems, which already manufactures the GGU-7 installed on the T-45, announced it won a contract from the US Naval Air Systems Command (NAVAIR) to provide a number of GGU-25 oxygen concentrators.
The GGU-25 is an upgraded version of GGU-7 able to “deliver optimal oxygen for pilots while also monitoring and recording necessary operational data” in real-time.
“We are honored to have the Navy’s ongoing confidence in our products and to be given this opportunity to continue serving the T-45 fleet,” said Jason Apelquist, Senior Vice President business development and strategy, Cobham Mission Systems.
In 2017, pilots from the US Navy reported symptoms of hypoxia. It culminated when 100 instructors went on strike and refused to fly the aircraft. Consequently, the whole fleet of T-45 Goshawk trainers was grounded for six months.
While the issue was not precisely identified, it was determined that the current oxygen concentrator was not delivering enough air to the pilots under certain conditions.
The McDonnell-Douglas T-45 Goshawk is the navalized version of the British BAe Hawk trainer. For the past 30 years, it has been used for advanced training of US Navy pilots for landing and attack missions. In 2020, the US Department of Defense opened a request for information regarding a future training jet intended to operate from its aircraft carriers and land bases.