Boeing, SAAB: Digitally designed T-7 Red Hawk is in honor of Tuskegee Airmen

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WASHINGTON — US company Boeing and Swedish company SAAB unveiled a fully digitally designed aircraft, according to their joint statement. T-7A Red Hawk is built and tested with the help of modern production, flexible software development, and digital engineering technology, which significantly reduce the time from design to the first flight.

Photo credit: Boeing

It is also said that the aircraft has open architecture software that allows growth and flexibility to meet future mission needs.

Boeing-SAAB statements

Commenting on the topic, Ted Colbert, President and CEO of Boeing Defense, Space & Security, said: “We are excited and proud to deliver this next-generation digitally advanced training aircraft to the US Air Force. This aircraft embodies the way Boeing’s suppliers and partners are leading the digital engineering revolution. The T-7A will prepare pilots for future missions.”

General Charles K. Brown Jr., Chief of Staff of the United States Air Force, said: “Tuskegee pilots are one of the most famous parts in the history of our Air Force, and the T-7A honors the courage and skills of these pioneers. T-7A Red Hawk aircraft breakthrough flight barriers, like aviators named after them and have the same colors to show their respect. These digitally designed aircraft will allow the training of future fighter pilots of different cross-sections. In addition, the aircraft will provide an advanced training system and capabilities to meet the requirements of today’s and tomorrow’s national security environment.”

Photo: Boeing

Mikael Johansson, President, and CEO of Saab said: “Today is the culmination of years of work, design, and partnership between Boeing and Saab. Saab’s know-how and experience have contributed to the design and production of this world-class training aircraft, which includes more than a thousand Saab employees. We set a completely ambitious vision to redefine what a training aircraft is and how it is made at the same time, and we achieved that.”

About Boeing–Saab T-7A Red Hawk

The T-7A Red Hawk has a red tail in honor of a group of mostly African-American military pilots and pilots who fought in World War II and were called Tuskegee Airmen. In this context, the aforementioned aviators constituted the first African-American aviation unit to serve in the US Army.

Boeing and Saab have implemented an innovative digital strategy for the design, development, and production of military aircraft with the T-7A Red Hawk jet. Model-based engineering is an integral part of Saab’s success, first with the development of the Gripen E and now as part of the T-7 program. The close working partnership between Boeing and Saab allowed the program to deliver a brand new aircraft in record time, with a relentless focus on efficiency and accuracy.

Photo: Boeing

The next steps in the program include the first flight of the EMD T-7A jet and the continuous transfer of knowledge and technology to Saab’s operations in the United States.

SAAB’s facility in Indiana

The design officially entered series production in February 2021. In April 2021, Saab Group delivered one aft section of T-7A aircraft to the Boeing St. Louis plant. On 24 July 2021, Saab delivered the second aft section to the Boeing St. Louis plant. Boeing will splice Saab’s aft section with the front section, fins, wings, and tail assembly to become a complete test aircraft for use in the EMD’s flight test program.

On completion of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development [EMD] phase, Saab’s brand new facility in West Lafayette, Indiana, will serve as the manufacturing hub for the T-7A Red Hawk’s aft section and sub-systems such as hydraulics, fuel systems, and secondary power.

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