Boeing has proposed its T-7 Red Hawk advanced trainer for the needs of the Royal Australian Air Force.
Australia is looking to replace its aging fleet of BAE Hawk lead-in fighter trainers with a solution that will provide an advanced, next-generation training capability to support the RAAF’s fast-jet aircrew training.
Boeing has put forward the T-7 Red Hawk as a solution to meet Australia’s requirements. The Red Hawk could be used to train future Australian pilots of F/A-18F Super Hornets, EA-18G Growlers, and F-35s. It has already been selected by the United States Air Force (USAF) to replace its fleet of Cold War-era Northrop T-38 Talon aircraft.
“The T-7 would fit right into the pilot training and aircraft sustainment our team currently provides for the Australian Defence Force,” said Scott Carpendale, vice president and managing director of Boeing Defence Australia, in a press release. “Because the US and Australia already have a high degree of interoperability due to flying similar aircraft types, an Australian T-7 could lead to new joint training scenarios between the two countries.”
The T-7 Red Hawk is a result of a partnership between Boeing and the Swedish manufacturer Saab. The duo won the TX competition, which aimed to find a replacement for the USAF Northrop T-38 Talon. The name 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.
Australia’s program to replace the Hawk, Project AIR 6002, is valued at up to 5 billion Australian dollars ($3.4 billion). Boeing’s T-7 Red Hawk will have to compete against Leonardo’s M-346, and the Lockheed Martin/Korea Aerospace Industries T-50 Golden Eagle.