Rigorous testing will ensure T-7A Red Hawk produces safer training experiences for pilots

  • Published
  • By Alexandra Kuehner
  • Air Force Life Cycle Management Center's T-7 Program Office

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio -- The United States Air Force’s new fighter trainer, the T-7A Red Hawk, had several major achievements in 2023. 
First taxi occurred June 20, 2023, followed by the first U.S. Air Force flight on July 14th.
Since that inaugural flight the Air Force has accepted the first three Red Hawks from Boeing and sent them to Edwards Air Force Base, Calif. and Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.  to begin running through a rigorous set of testing procedures.
The T-7A Red Hawk is a twin tail, single engine, stadium seating aircraft with an advanced digital cockpit that will provide fighter-like performance with safe, stable, fly-by-wire controls. 
“The T-7A Red Hawk provides a much needed upgrade to our legacy pilot training platforms providing a more representative and safer training experience for our future fighter and bomber pilots,” said Lt. Col. Zachary Lord, Materiel Leader for the T-7A Program. “Combined with the immersive Ground Based Training System, our Air Force will be able to produce world class 4th and 5th generation fighter and bomber pilots for years to come.” 
The Red Hawk is set to replace the T-38C Talon, an aircraft that first flew in 1959 produced by Northrop Grumman. 
“The T-7A Red Hawk design is technically sound,” said Chuck Darnell, USAF Deputy T-7 Division Chief. “But the government is diligent as additional discoveries are a normal part of the remaining development and test process. The T-7A Red Hawk program office continues to partner closely with the Boeing Company to prioritize schedule, overcome challenges and implement risk reduction activities throughout all aspects of system development to minimize additional delays.”  
The first T-7A Red Hawk is expected to be delivered to Randolph Air Force Base, Texas in 2026.