DUBAI AIR SHOW NEWS: T‑7A Red Hawk May Move Beyond Training Purposes for International Customers

 In GDI, Defense, Air, Space

DUBAI AIR SHOW NEWS: T‑7A Red Hawk May Move Beyond Training Purposes for International Customers

T‑7A Red Hawk

Image: Boeing

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Boeing has been talk­ing to over­seas cus­tomers about using its T‑7 Red Hawk train­ing air­craft for dif­fer­ent pur­pos­es, a com­pa­ny offi­cial said Nov. 18.

“I don’t have a hard per­cent­age … but there is a lot of inter­est, obvi­ous­ly, in kind of mov­ing beyond the train­er as well as the train­er itself,” Thom Breckenridge, vice pres­i­dent of inter­na­tion­al sales for strike, sur­veil­lance and mobil­i­ty at Boeing’s defense, space and secu­ri­ty busi­ness, said at a press con­fer­ence at the Dubai Air Show.

Formerly known as the T‑X, Boeing recent­ly renamed the air­craft to the T‑7 Red Hawk train­er to pay trib­ute to the Tuskegee Airmen, African-American pilots that fought in World War II. Partnering with Saab, the train­er won a com­pe­ti­tion to replace the Air Force’s T‑38 jet train­ers in 2018 with a clean-sheet design.

The com­pa­ny has pre­vi­ous­ly float­ed the idea of pitch­ing the train­er for light attack and aggres­sor sales. Breckenridge said Boeing plans to use the Dubai Air Show to talk to for­eign cus­tomers about their needs.

“Some cus­tomers [are] inter­est­ed only in the train­ers, some­times with some cus­tomers only inter­est­ed in some­thing beyond the train­er and some cus­tomers inter­est­ed in both,” he said. “We do expect that there will be a mix.”

The T‑7A was already ini­tial­ly designed to move beyond a train­ing air­craft, he not­ed.

“We’re in the process of think­ing through what will that next con­fig­u­ra­tion look like, who will be the even­tu­al cus­tomers, how all that will come togeth­er,” he said.

The air­craft has received inter­est “across all con­ti­nents except for, maybe, Antarctica,” he said.

“There’s been some inter­est or vary­ing lev­els of inter­est,” he not­ed. “Can’t go into the specifics of the con­ver­sa­tions that we’re hav­ing with indi­vid­ual cus­tomers, but we have had inter­ests across all the con­ti­nents.”

The sys­tem would be espe­cial­ly use­ful in areas that have pilot short­ages because of its effi­cien­cy, Breckenridge said. Students are able to move through train­ing more quick­ly and at an afford­able rate, he not­ed.

“I’m also doing that in a way that’s more afford­able, both because of the abil­i­ty to uti­lize those ground-based train­ing sys­tems … in addi­tion to the afford­abil­i­ty ben­e­fits that the air­craft brings from a main­te­nance per­spec­tive as well as just from a per­for­mance per­spec­tive,” he said.

For instance, the air­craft has a canopy open­ing to the side, which can cut down ejec­tor seat change times from hours and days to only min­utes. ACES 5 ejec­tion seats will be pro­vid­ed by Collins Aerospace.

The sys­tem also has “easy access, fold-down doors” and high wings so main­tain­ers can quick­ly and effi­cient­ly reach the parts they need, he not­ed.

Topics: Air Power, Aviation, Training and Simulation, International, Global Defense Market

Source: NDIA

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