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Tue, Jun 21, 2022

Joint Boeing-Saab T-7A Red Hawk Takes Shape

Tales and Tails from the Heartland

Boeing has completed final assembly of its T-7A Red Hawk prototype for the United States Air Force.

In a June statement, the aerospace titan announced the aft section of the T-7A Red Hawk’s fuselage—produced by Swedish aerospace and defense company Saab—was mated to the aircraft’s forward structure in less than thirty-minutes.

The completion of the prototype marked the end of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development (EMD) phase of the T-X program—of which the T-7A derives.

Vice President of Boeing T-7 programs Paul Niewald stated, “We’re excited to begin building the first trainer jets future Air Force pilots will fly.”

The USAF, Boeing, and its partner Saab signed a $9.2-billion contract for 351, T-7A advanced trainers, 46 simulators, and maintenance/technical/software support on 27 September 2018. The aircraft’s development spanned 36-months.

According to Boeing, the T-7A Red Hawk is an advanced pilot training system developed for purpose of training the next generation of USAF fighter and bomber pilots. The aircraft replaces the Northrop T-38 Talon, which, as of 2020, has been in service with the United States Air Force for over 50 years.

Designed using a digital thread—which is to say a data-driven architecture that links together information generated from across a product’s lifecycle and envisioned to be the primary or authoritative data and communication platform for that product at any instance of time—the T-7A allows for the integration of new concepts and capabilities faster and more affordably through virtual testing, thereby aligning with the U.S. Air Force’s Digital Century Series strategy.

Saab built the aft section of the T-7A prototype at its Linkoping plant in southern Sweden. To ensure shorter shipping times and increased collaboration with Boeing, future T-7A aft sections will be built at a new Saab facility in West Lafayette, Indiana.

FMI: www.boeing.com, www.saab.com

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