Military Aviation

Wing rock issue and other technical problems delay T-7A Red Hawk full-rate production decision from 2022 to 2023

Because of technical issues the USAF is requesting limited funding for the T-7A Red Hawk.

Multiple issues are inhibiting the T-7A Red Hawk next-generation trainer’s progress toward production, the US Air Force (USAF) said in a statement. According to Air Force Magazine for example, the Milestone C decision, or full-rate production, slipped from 2022 to 2023 because of supplier-side critical parts shortages, initial design delays, and the need for more testing after the “discovery of aircraft wing rock,” which means the T-7 can be unstable in the roll axis when flying at high angles of attack.

Because of these technical issues the USAF is requesting limited funding for the T-7A (the 2022 budget request calls for $188.9 million in research, development, test, and evaluation funding for the T-7. Below the $206.4 million projected for fiscal 2022 in the 2021 budget request’s future year defense program).

However, the service remains committed to replacing its aging T-38s with the T-7 Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr. said on Jun. 16, 2021.

“Our focus and commitment to the T-7 has not waned,” Brown said.

Designed using a digital thread, the T-7A aligns with the US Air Force’s Digital Century Series strategy by enabling the integration of new concepts and capabilities faster and more affordably through virtual testing. Then-Air Force Secretary Barbara M. Barrett announced in September 2020 that Boeing’s Red Hawk trainer jet would be the first plane to earn an “e” designation, as the eT-7A, signifying it was designed and tested using digital engineering. The advanced trainer will provide future fighter and bomber pilots with fundamental and tactical training for 5th generation aircraft.

However, officials told Air Force Magazine on June 16 there is an “inherent schedule risk because of the aggressive nature of the program’s schedule.”

The T-7 APT program office is “continuously analyzing methods to improve schedule” and is working with Boeing with the goal of a Milestone C production decision in fiscal 2023.

In September 2018, the USAF awarded Boeing a $9.2 billion contract to supply 351 advanced trainer aircraft and 46 associated ground-based training simulators. Saab is teamed with Boeing on the trainer and provides the aft fuselage of the jet.

Photo credit: U.S. Air Force

Dario Leone

Dario Leone is an aviation, defense and military writer. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviation Geek Club” one of the world’s most read military aviation blogs. His writing has appeared in The National Interest and other news media. He has reported from Europe and flown Super Puma and Cougar helicopters with the Swiss Air Force.

Recent Posts

The ringmaster’s Grand Finale: Legendary German Ace Adolf Galland recalls his last combat mission

Legendary German Ace Adolf Galland By far the best-known of Germany’s World War II fighter… Read More

22 hours ago

Impressive video shows 509th Bomb Wing and 131st Bomb Wing performing mass fly-off of 12 B-2 Spirit bombers

Mass fly-off of 12 B-2 stealth bombers Filmed on Apr. 15, 2024 15 at Whiteman… Read More

22 hours ago

Alligator blocks USAF KC-135 Stratotanker, fights with FWC Officers at MacDill AFB

Alligator blocks KC-135 Stratotanker Taken on Apr. 22, 2024 the curious photos in this post… Read More

2 days ago

South Korean F-4 Phantom IIs conduct final live-fire training of AGM-142 Popeye before retirement

South Korean F-4 Phantom IIs conduct final live-fire training Ahead of the official retirement of… Read More

2 days ago