T-7A or T-X Red Hawk is USAF’s next generation trainer meant to replace the aging T-38 Talons that have been in service for more than 60 years as of 2020.
T-7A Red Hawk is joint venture between US Boeing and Swedish Saab. Boeing and Saab were awarded with contract of worth $9.2 bn to supply 351 trainers, 46 ground-based simulators, maintenance, and training. The first set of deliveries are set to begin in 2023.
T-7A technical specs aren’t yet disclosed as it’s in early stages and till yet only two prototypes have been built, from different test pilots who have flown this we have come to know that the trainer jet has a maximum range of 1839 km , 1300 km/hr. speed and up till now its flown for endurance of 1 hour and 15 mins. It has wingspan of 30.60 ft and 46.93 ft long and is powered by GE F-404 which provides 70 KN thrust.
Red Hawk comes with a fly-by-wire system and fully digitally cockpit and avionics. The new trainer is designed to meet future requirements of modern fighter jets for about two or more decades and thus have very flexible software and avionics open architecture inputs to complement new technologies and customer requirements. It is estimated that T-7A will secure around 2700 local and international orders.
An expert said, “Gap between T-38C Talons and F-35 JSF is like Day and Night”, T-7A has very shortened the distance very much, thanks to its advance design and avionics. It will have compatibility with all current fleet of USAF specially F-16, F-15, F-18, F-35, and F-22 Raptor.
It is Glass cockpit wide 10*9in touch screen will mimic state of the art avionics and information configuration of all next-generation fighter aircrafts. It will have point-pressure air to air refueling system for training pilots, Datalink, radar, navigation and virtual operation of weapons and sensors.
Recently it went through extreme test of engine restart in midair during any emergency, and it glided for about 48 seconds and ensured all back up equipment’s functioning.
Scaling all robust tech and design T-7A Red Hawk will be very successful training program for USAF and other friendly nations. It will drastically decrease training time and efforts for new pilots will enable them to board on actual fighters ruling the skies.