Boeing assembles final T-7A Red Hawk trainer jet prototype
Boeing announced having completed the final assembly of its T-7A Red Hawk trainer aircraft prototype developed for the United States Air Force.
According to the manufacturer’s statement released on June 16, 2022, the aft section of the T-7A Red Hawk trainer jet fuselage produced by Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab was joined with the forward part in less than 30 minutes.
The completion of the prototype marked the end of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the T-X program.
“We’re excited to begin building the first trainer jets future Air Force pilots will fly,” vice president of Boeing T-7 programs Paul Niewald was quoted in the manufacturer’s statement. “Boeing and Saab quality and production teams will be closer, accelerating responsiveness to meet engineering and hardware needs.”
The USAF, Boeing, and its partner Saab signed a $9.2 billion contract for 351 T-7A advanced trainers, 46 simulators, and support on September 27, 2018. The development process of the new jet trainer concept took 36 months after the official agreement.
According to Boeing, the T-7A Red Hawk is an advanced pilot training system dedicated to training the next generation of fighter and bomber pilots of the USAF. It will replace the older Northrop T-38 Talon twinjet trainer.
“Designed using a digital thread, the T-7A aligns with the U.S. Air Force’s Digital Century Series strategy by enabling the integration of new concepts and capabilities faster and more affordably through virtual testing,” Boeing wrote.
Boeing’s partner Saab built the aft section of the trainer jet prototype at its facility in Linkoping, in southern Sweden. However, the Swedish company said it will continue producing the rear sections at its other manufacturing facility in West Lafayette, in the US.
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