Saab has delivered the last of five T-7A Red Hawk aft fuselages to be used for engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) aircraft from its facility in Linköping, Sweden, to Boeing’s production site in St. Louis, Missouri. The aircraft are part of a $9.2 billion contract for 351 T-7A advanced trainers, 46 simulators and support awarded to Boeing by the U.S. Air Force in 2018. Going forward, Saab will produce aft fuselage sections for the T-7A at its new manufacturing facility in West Lafayette, Indiana.
“We’re excited to begin building the first trainer jets future Air Force pilots will fly,” said Paul Niewald, vice president for Boeing T-7 programs. “Boeing and Saab quality and production teams will be closer, accelerating responsiveness to meet engineering and hardware needs.”
Citing “the benefits of the T-7A’s digital foundation,” Boeing reports that it was able to join the aircraft’s aft fuselage section to the forward fuselage in less than 30 minutes. As previously reported by AVweb, the first T-7A Red Hawk test aircraft built for the EMD phase rolled out last April. Designed by Boeing and Saab using 3D model-based definition and data management systems, the T-7A features open architecture software, digital fly-by-wire controls and advanced cockpit technology. The Red Hawk is intended to replace the Air Force’s aging T-38s trainers.