T-7A Red Hawk, the latest US trainer aircraft to replace T-38. | World Defense

T-7A Red Hawk, the latest US trainer aircraft to replace T-38.

Shazam

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U.S. Air Force’s new trainer aircraft T-7A Red Hawk

U.S. Air Force’s new trainer aircraft officially named T-7A Red Hawk
Photo courtesy of Boeing Defense


The T-7A will replace 50-year-old fleet of T-38C Talon Trainer. The T-X program had been established to enable the United States Air Force to buy a new two-seat jet trainer for fast-jet training to replace the Northrop Talon.


The T-7A Red Hawk, manufactured by Boeing, introduces capabilities that prepare pilots for fifth generation fighters, including: high-G environment, information/sensor management, high angle of attack flight characteristics, night operations, and transferable air-to-air and air-to-ground skills.

“The T-7A will be the staple of a new generation of aircraft,” Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan said during the Air, Space & Cyber Conference Sep. 16 . “The Red Hawk offers advanced capabilities for training tomorrow’s pilots on data links, simulated radar, smart weapons, defensive management systems, as well as synthetic training capabilities.”

Along with updated technology and performance capabilities, the T-7A will be accompanied by enhanced simulators and the ability to update system software faster and more seamlessly. The plane was also designed with maintainers in mind by utilizing easy-to-reach and open access panels.

The T-7A features twin tails, slats and big leading-edge root extensions that provide deft handling at low speeds, allowing it to fly in a way that better approximates real world demands and that is specifically designed to prepare pilots for fifth-generation aircraft. The aircraft’s single engine generates nearly three times more thrust than the dual engines of the T-38C Talon which it is replacing.

“The distance between the T-38 and an F-35 is night and day,” said Air Force Chief of Staff General David L. Goldfein. “But with the T-7A the distance is much, much smaller. And that’s important because it means the pilots trained on it will be that much better, that much faster at a time when we must be able to train to the speed of the threat.”

A $9.2 billion contract awarded to Boeing in September 2018 calls for 351 T-7A aircraft, 46 simulators and associated ground equipment to be delivered and installed, replacing Air Education and Training Command’s 57-year-old fleet of T-38C Talons.

The first T-7A aircraft and simulators are scheduled to arrive at Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, in 2023. All undergraduate pilot training bases will eventually transition from the T-38C to the T-7A. Those bases include: Columbus Air Force Base, Mississippi; Laughlin AFB, Texas; Sheppard AFB, Texas and Vance AFB, Oklahoma.

Boeing T-X Cockpit and Avionics

Boeing-T-X-cockpit.JPG

The Boeing T-X is equipped with a modern cockpit and flexible avionics integrated into the trainer. The cockpit displays a broad and modular display area, offering various training options for instructors and students. The cockpit is equipped with fly-by-wire flight controls that ensure excellent handling at all speeds, flight parameters, and high angle-of-attack.

The cockpit of a Boeing T-X can accommodate an instructor and a student. Seating arrangements offer ideal positions for instructors and visibility for flight instructions for conducting basic traffic pattern operations and advanced visual air combat training. Seats compatible with JPATS 1-7 also accommodate a variety of individuals with different body sizes.


Specifications:
  • Crew: 2
  • Length: 46 ft 5.0 in (14.15 m)
  • Wingspan: 32 ft 9.7 in (10 m)
  • Height: 13 ft 1.4 in (4.0 m)
  • Powerplant: 1 × General Electric F404 Afterburning turbofan, 11,000 lbf (49 kN) thrust dry, 17,700 lbf (79 kN) with afterburner
  • Maximum speed: 808 mph (1,300 km/h, 702 kn)
  • Range: 1,143 mi (1,839 km, 994 nmi)
  • Service ceiling: 50,000 ft (15,240 m)
  • Rate of climb: 33,500 ft/min (170 m/s)
Boeing-SAAB_T-X_w_engine_scale_figure_5-4-2017_copy.jpg


Two_parked_Boeing_T-Xs_(181005-F-PO640-0021).jpeg


Boeing_T-X_R_side_photo_edited_1376x490,_276_dpi_188kb,_6_May_17.jpg
 

mtime7

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looks like a great plane, surprised a little on the max speed though, thought it would be a little faster
 

Shazam

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looks like a great plane, surprised a little on the max speed though, thought it would be a little faster
I think the max speed of Mach 1.2 (808 mph,1300 km/h) is due to the single engine design, keeping the operation cost down while getting the most out of of the GE F404 engine, achieving almost the same speed as twin engines of T38 talons with max speed of Mach 1.3 (858 mph, 1,381 km/h).

The new aircraft is powered by the same engine used by the Saab Gripen C/D and legacy F/A-18 and twin tails that can provide high performance training for pilots that will fly US front-line fighters. More than the speed, the following have become more important and relevant in contemporary aerial warfare.

The cockpit features components much like the F-35 cockpit or the proposed cockpits for F/A-18E/F Block III and F-15X. The aircraft is slated to offer advanced training capabilities, including data links, smart weapons, simulated radar and next generation sensor capabilities.

In essence, the next generation warfare has become mostly about data linking fighter, strike and support assets, Electronic Warfare as well as BVR engagements. The WVR engagements are becoming rarer but at the same time, the WVR engagements have become more about maneuverability and off bore sight missile engagement capabilities, and having more energy to get out of tighter angle of attacks, all of which the new trainer T-7A can potentially address better than the older T38 Talons.
 

mtime7

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I was thinking about speed more along the lines of an armed version, as a trainer it really doesn't matter, I was just hoping for a little more juice than the T38 for when it has weapons dangling off it and loaded down
 

Shazam

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I was thinking about speed more along the lines of an armed version, as a trainer it really doesn't matter, I was just hoping for a little more juice than the T38 for when it has weapons dangling off it and loaded down
I agree with you. The T38 Talon looks ahead of the race on paper even today.

Any other country would restart the T38 Talon production line with new avionics, new HMI and more structural composites to make the frame lighter and nimbler with added large leading edge slats and twin canted tails to mimic performance of next generation aircrafts.

With the new T-7A red hawk, Boeing gets to benefit from the billions of dollars worth of contract instead of Northrop that made the Talons, in effect, Boeing is adding the new features in a new design that a T38 Talon redesign and production would have probably entailed any way. I wonder why Northrop didn't propose a Redesigned/ Modified/ New built T-38 to compete for the project instead of proposing upgraded Hawks.
 

AliYusuf

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In my humble opinion, there are more to the specs of T-7A then is being let on. It is possible that like in the case of the F-35, for which a lot of smokescreen and misinformation had been deliberately spread to mask it's true capabilities. Let's wait & see till more detailed specs come to the limelight.
 

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