Swedish design, American engine – Boeing’s T-7A Red Hawk will fly
WARSAW, (BM) – Boeing announced the start of series production of the T-7A Red Hawk advanced training aircraft and, therefore, the first steps taken to this end on American soil. Earlier, production of some of their components had begun at the Swedish plant, Saab, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Defence24.
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Starting Boeing means starting the entire production line. Recall that in August 2018, the US Air Force ordered 351 Boeing aircraft with 46 simulators and ground training devices, a training package, and support for $ 9.2 billion.
Saab is a co-designer of this structure and acts as a subcontractor to the Red Hawks. However, the machine has an American engine – F404 (also used on the F / A-18 Hornet, T-50 Golden Eagle, or HAL Tejas).
The program may be historic because the new aircraft will replace the old and legendary T-38 Talon. The T-7A was created using full modeling based on digital 3D models and new data management systems.
This allowed not only to design the aircraft quickly but also to create it in technologies that facilitate the production of elements and assembly – using a minimum number of tools, taking into account all the necessary holes in the early stages of production, which is expressed in minimal needs when it comes to drilling during assembly.
The manufacturers must also achieve an appropriate quality of component production much faster. According to Boeing representatives, this means shorter production time and the cost of individual machines.
If all these predictions turn out to be correct, a significant part of the order must be fulfilled by 2023-2024, when their fleet is scheduled to reach initial operational readiness. Boeing also has ambitious plans to export the T-7A, which it will only launch once much of the US order has been fulfilled.
The Red Hawks are to replace training and combat aircraft around the world, such as the Alpha Jet, and light fighters of the old type, most of the F-5 family. Given the innovative solutions and the economies of scale provided only by the USAF core order, these plans seem realistic.
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