Swedish defense company Saab has kicked off assembly work on its section of the T-7A aircraft, the new trainer that is being delivered to the US Air Force by Boeing.
Saab is responsible for the development and production of the aft fuselage section for the trainer, with seven aft units being produced in Linköping, Sweden for final assembly at Boeing’s US facility in St. Louis, Missouri.
The US Air Force announced in September 2019 that its newest trainer would be named Red Hawk. T-7A introduces capabilities that prepare pilots for fifth generation fighters, including high-G environment, information and sensor management, high angle of attack flight characteristics, night operations and transferable air-to-air and air-to-ground skills.
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 is specifically designed to prepare pilots for fifth-generation aircraft. According to the air force, the aircraft’s single engine generates nearly three times more thrust than the dual engines of the T-38C Talon which it is replacing.
“In little over a year since we signed the EMD contract, we are starting production of our part of the T-7A jet. This achievement is possible due to the great collaboration between Saab and Boeing, and it is an honour to be part of this programme for the United States Air Force,” says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab business area Aeronautics.
The work is being performed in Linkoping, Sweden, after which future production of Saab’s part for the T-7A will be moved to the company’s new US site in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Boeing is the designated prime contractor for the T-7A advanced pilot training system acquisition by the US Air Force. Saab and Boeing developed the aircraft with Saab as a risk-sharing partner. Saab received the EMD order from Boeing, on September 18, 2018.