The first T-7A Red Hawk advanced military trainer has rolled out of Boeing’s production facility in St. Louis, Missouri, the company announced on Thursday. The aircraft is part of a $9.2 billion contract that includes 351 new combat training jets intended to replace the U.S. Air Force’s fleet of aging T-38s. According to Boeing, the first T-7A will remain at the St. Louis facility for ground and flight testing prior to delivery, which is expected to take place next year.
“We’re excited and honored to deliver this digitally advanced, next-generation trainer to the U.S. Air Force,” said Boeing Defense, Space & Security President and CEO Ted Colbert. “This aircraft is a tangible example of how Boeing, its suppliers and partners are leading the digital engineering revolution. T-7A will prepare pilots for future missions for decades to come.”
The T-7A was developed in partnership with Saab and features red-tailed livery in honor of the Tuskegee Airmen. Flown for the first time in 2016 as the T-X, the model was fully digitally designed using Boeing’s 3D model-based definition and data management systems. As previously reported by AVweb, Red Hawk production began in February 2021.