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Boeing-Saab T-7 Red Hawk (T-X)

5th Generation Advanced Jet Trainer Aircraft

The Boeing-Saab T-X, unveiled in September 2016, was announced as the winner of the USAF Advanced Jet Trainer competition in September of 2018.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 2/5/2020
In mid-September of 2016, The Boeing Company - in partnership with Sweden's Saab - revealed their challenger for the lucrative United State Air Force "T-X" advanced jet trainer competition. The design was rolled out on September 13th at the Boeing St. Louis (Missouri) facility. It is a "clean sheet" design meaning that it has been engineered from the ground up and not based on an existing, proven aircraft already in service.

Initial Operating Capability (IOC) for the T-X is planned for 2023.

The basic approach is a conventionally-arranged aircraft sporting a high-mounted wing mainplane, twin vertical tail fins and a single engine installation. The engine, the General Electric GE F404 series turbofan, is aspirated by a split-air intake duct system. The crew of two are seated in tandem under a lightly-framed canopy - it is assumed the student in front with the instructor aft. The cockpit sits aft of a slender, pointed nosecone and the overall design exudes aerodynamic efficiency. The undercarriage is of a typical tricycle arrangement (of course retractable) with the main legs (single-wheeled) sitting under center mass of the aircraft and the nose leg (also single-wheeled) found under the cockpit floor. Some components of the aircraft are said to have been 3D-printed to help lower costs. Saab is said to be responsible for the middle and aft sections of the new aircraft.

Boeing/Saab promise high maneuverability and a high Angle-of-Attack (AoA) from their design. Logistical friendliness is also noted for the F404 engine in the Boeing-Saab T-X is the same already in the U.S. military pipeline as it powers the Boeing F/A-18 "Hornet" family.

Some 350 advanced trainers are sought by the service to replace the aging line of Northrop Grumman T-38 Talons. Northrop Grumman is also a challenger in the T-X competition along with Lockheed. Northrop revealed their T-X entry in August 2016 - the prototype also powered by the F404 engine. Boeing recently lost out to build the next-generation bomber for the USAF (this went to Northrop) so nabbing the T-X contract is something of a must. Its St. Louis production facility will also see a slowdown in work with the planned wrap-up of fighter production related to the F-15 and F/A-18 lines.

Two production-quality aircraft are ready for evaluation.

Values presented on this page for the Boeing-Saab T-X are estimated on the part of the author. They will be revised when official specifications of the aircraft are revealed by the manufacturer.

Program Updates

December 2017 - The Boeing T-X prototype completed its first-flight on December 20th, 2016.

April 2017 - The second T-X prototype completed its first-flight, this lasting one hour. The flight took place on April 24th.

September 2018 - The United States Air Force has awarded Boeing a $9 billion USD contract to make its T-X proposal the next advanced trainer of the service.

December 2018 - The T-X is a contender for a 33-strong advanced jet trainer requirement of the Royal Australian Air Force.

February 2019 - It was announced by Saab that a production location for building the new T-X trainers in the United States will be selected by the middle of 2019.

May 2019 - Saab has announced plans to set up an all-new manufacturing facility in West Lafayette, Indiana for its contribution to the Boeing-led T-X advanced jet trainer program. Construction is expected to begin sometime in 2020.

July 2019 - It was announced that Boeing had begun flight-testing of one of its two T-X prototypes.

September 2019 - On September 16th, 2019, the USAF formally revealed the official designation of the T-X Advanced Jet Trainer, T-7A "Red Hawk". The name is to honor the U.S. Army Air Corps' Tuskegee Airmen of World War 2 who flew, among other platforms, the famous Curtiss P-40 "Warhawk" fighter. The service is expected to procure 351 airframes along with 46 simulators to succeed an aging fleet of Northrop T-38C Talon jet trainers.

January 2020 - Saab has begun production of the T-7A Red Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer. These will begin manufacture in Linkoping, Sweden and end with final assembly at the Boeing St. Louis facility.


[ 2 Units ] :
Boeing Company - USA / Saab - Sweden
National flag of United States United States
- X-Plane / Developmental
- Training
46.42 ft (14.15 m)
32.81 ft (10 m)
13.12 ft (4 m)
(Showcased structural dimension values pertain to the Boeing-Saab T-7A production model)
Empty Weight:
7,165 lb (3,250 kg)
12,125 lb (5,500 kg)
(Diff: +4,960lb)
(Showcased weight values pertain to the Boeing-Saab T-7A production model)
1 x General Electric F404 afterburning turbofan engine developing 17,200lb of thrust.
(Showcased powerplant information pertains to the Boeing-Saab T-7A production model)
Maximum Speed:
808 mph (1,300 kph; 702 kts)
Service Ceiling:
50,000 feet (15,240 m; 9.47 miles)
Maximum Range:
1,143 miles (1,840 km; 994 nm)
33,500 ft/min (10,211 m/min)
(Showcased performance values pertain to the Boeing-Saab T-7A production model; Compare this aircraft entry against any other in our database)
(Showcased armament details pertain to the Boeing-Saab T-7A production model)
T-7 "Red Hawk" - Base Series Designation.
T-7A - Initial production variant.
T-X - Developmental program designation.
Cockpit image of the Boeing-Saab T-7 Red Hawk (T-X)
(Cockpit image represents the Boeing T-X production model)

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