Military Review

TX project news. The name is new, the plans are old

In September last year, the US Air Force chose the winner of the TX program, whose goal is to create a promising training aircraft. The most successful project submitted to the competition was a joint development of Boeing and Saab. Until recently, this aircraft was known under the program index - TX. Now it has been renamed the T-7A Red Hawk. Under this name, he will enter service and will ensure the renewal of the TCB fleet.

TX project news. The name is new, the plans are old

New name

The Secretary of the Air Force Matthew Donovan announced the introduction of the new index and the proper name of the 16 aircraft in September in his speech at the Aerospace and Cyber ​​Conference of the Air Force Association. In addition, the head of the department revealed the reasons for choosing a name for the aircraft.

The name Red Hawk ("Red Hawk") pays tribute to the famous American pilots and equipment of the Second World War. It recalls the "pilots from Taskigi" - the first African American pilots in the US Army Air Force. Pilots of the 332 fighter group used the characteristic coloring of the technique with red tails, for which they received the corresponding nickname.

The 99 fighter squadron of the 332 group, equipped with black personnel, operated the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk fighters. This fact is also noted in the name of the promising T-7A aircraft.

During the conference, the Minister of the Air Force demonstrated a promising image of the TCB in a characteristic form. This T-7A received a gray-white color and a red tail - almost like that of the "pilots from Taskigi." Perhaps such a livery will be used on serial Red Hawk.

Already under the new name, TCB will pass the necessary tests and then enter the series. The completion of development work will take the next few years, after which the Red Hawks will replenish the Air Force fleet.

Plans for the future

The US Air Force TX program kicked off earlier this decade. Its goal was to create a new TCB capable of replacing existing Northrop T-38 Talon machines. In the competition for the development of such a sample, several American and foreign companies participated. Since 2013, Boeing (USA) and Saab (Sweden) have been doing their project.

In September 2016, the first Boeing Saab TX (BTX-1) was first shown to the public. At the end of that year, he made his first flight. Soon the second prototype of the BTX-2 appeared. After carrying out part of the necessary tests, the Air Force made a decision. At the end of September 2018, it was announced that the joint project Boeing and Saab was winning the TX contest. After that, a contract was signed to carry out work as part of the Engineering and Manufacturing Development phase.

The current agreement worth more than 810 million dollars provides for the completion of the project and the construction of five prototypes. Seven ground-based simulators should also be made. Delivery time is up to 2023. After the completion of EMD, full-scale serial production is expected to start.

Last year's contract provides for the construction of a new type of 351 TCB and 46 simulators. Moreover, the possibility of increasing the order was previously mentioned. In this case, 475 vehicles of the T-7A and 120 ground training complexes could contract. However, the proposal to expand the order was not approved - the Air Force should receive only 351 aircraft. The total value of all ordered products will amount to 9,2 billion dollars. Equipment will be supplied from the beginning of the twenties to the 2034 financial year.

Production plans include the delivery of two batches of pre-production equipment, after which the construction of eight more numerous series will begin. The glider and part of the aircraft units will be manufactured at the new Saab plant in the United States, the construction of which will begin in the near future. The production of other components and the final assembly will be entrusted to the Boeing factory.

The first T-7A squadron will have to reach initial operational readiness at 2024. The introduction of all the ordered equipment will continue until the mid-thirties. As a result of these works, the new Red Hawk TCB will completely replace the existing Talon.

Project Objectives

The TX / T-7A training aircraft is being created as a key element of the advanced Advanced Pilot Training System. In addition to the TCB, this complex includes various ground-based equipment, primarily a simulator and related systems.

Such a complex should provide training for pilots who will fly on modern fighters of the 4 + and 5 generations. The existing T-38 aircraft, despite repeated upgrades, no longer meet these requirements, which led to the launch of the new TX program.

It was previously argued that to meet the current requirements for TCB, the promising TX / T-7A was developed from scratch, without using a ready-made base. At the same time, the accumulated experience of creating various aviation technicians. The use of modern approaches to design and turnkey solutions allows you to speed up the process of testing and refinement. However, the gain in this regard is not too great. The first flight of the experimental TX took place in 2016, and the service of serial T-7A will begin no earlier than 2023-24.

The Boeing / Saab T-7A Red Hawk is built according to the normal aerodynamic design with a high wing, two-tail plumage and one turbojet engine. The glider meets the requirements for strength and resistance to overload. Due to the General Electric F404 engine, the aircraft will be able to overcome the sound barrier and show the flight characteristics necessary for training pilots.

The on-board equipment complex is built on a modular basis with the ability to replace individual components. The equipment provides simulation of flight and combat use of various types of aircraft, including the newest. In the future, it is possible to upgrade the devices and software of the Red Hawk to train pilots of new types of cars.

In the early years, T-7A services will be used in training tactical aviation pilots to work on modern types of aircraft. In the future, with the advent of new fighters and bombers, it is possible to finalize Red Hawk accordingly. The operation of the new TCB will continue for several decades. Perhaps in this regard, the T-7A should repeat the successes of the old and well-deserved T-38.

It is curious that the bulk of the information about the tactical and technical characteristics and target capabilities of the T-7A TCB has not yet been publicly published. Nevertheless, the developers and the customer talk about the full implementation of all the tasks and almost a major breakthrough in the field of training aviation.

Modern replacement

The U.S. Air Force currently has 10 training squadrons using the Northrop T-38 Talon TSD. These units are armed with about 500 aircraft of modifications “A” and “C”. The existing equipment provides training for the flight crew, but already imposes serious restrictions.

First of all, the effectiveness of the preparation is affected by the age of the technique. The last T-38 were built in the early seventies, and their age is approaching the 50 years. Timely repair and modernization allows you to continue operation, but does not solve all the problems. The equipment is outdated and does not meet all modern requirements related to the preparation of pilots for fighters of the last generation.

The first squadron on the new T-7A will begin service in 2024. By this time, even the newest T-38 will have time to celebrate a half-century anniversary, which will emphasize the need to replace them. Fortunately for the US Air Force, at that time the replacement would already be real and feasible with the help of an existing project. The situation with the training of flight personnel is normalizing.

Serial production of the new Boeing / Saab T-7A Red Hawk will begin only in a few years, and the American industry should not lose time, since the existing TCB needs to be replaced as soon as possible. However, there is no need to rush either. The new “Red Hawks” will have to serve for several decades, and this makes certain demands on today's work.
Photos used:
Boeing Company /, United States Air Force

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  1. Nycomed
    Nycomed 18 September 2019 07: 03
    Nice plane. That's right, the T-38 had to be changed a long time ago. That's just about TTX I would like to know more.
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 18 September 2019 11: 16
      That's just about TTX I would like to know more.
      According to Flight Global, the performance characteristics are as follows.
      Crew: 2 person
      Length: 14,15 m
      Wingspan: 10 m
      Height: 4,0 m
      Power plant: one General Electric F404 turbofan engine, thrust 5000 kgf,
      afterburner 8055 kgf
      Maximum speed: 1300 km / h
      Practical range: 1 839 km
      Ceiling: 15 m
      Rate of climb: 170 m / s

      The cockpit is equipped in accordance with modern trends up to the HOTAS system - when all the main switches are concentrated on the control knob and throttle, which allows the pilot, in combination with the Heads-Up (HUD) display, to focus on controlling the aircraft, manipulating sensors and hitting targets, rather than on finding controls in the cockpit.
      In this case, the central display can "take the form" of the displays of the F-35, F / A-18 Hornet, F-15QA / EX and Saab's Gripen E.
      There is information about the availability of equipment for refueling in the air, which is quite logical.
      1. Undecim
        Undecim 18 September 2019 11: 21

        This is how the simulator looks.
      2. Nycomed
        Nycomed 18 September 2019 11: 23
        The data is quite comparable to the T-38, the wing span is only a little bit more and the engine is one, which is more likely a plus for TCB.
        1. Undecim
          Undecim 18 September 2019 11: 33
          I missed the weight - 5500 kg. Accordingly, the thrust-weight ratio is 0,9, while the T-38 has 0,65.
  2. rocket757
    rocket757 18 September 2019 07: 25
    I liked the brilliant picture ... it shines well.
    It's all. If necessary, they will take ... what is the question then?
    1. NordOst16
      NordOst16 18 September 2019 08: 31
      Yak 130 also did not shine badly in the picture. But, judging by the article, an American will have much better engines with engines than Yak. For there he is
      one (which will positively affect the price and service) and there is the possibility of flying in supersonic.
      1. Lelik76
        Lelik76 18 September 2019 09: 18
        For flight safety, especially with inexperienced students, 2 engines are still preferable. For the cost I agree, more expensive.
        1. NordOst16
          NordOst16 18 September 2019 09: 23
          Well, it seems to me that with inexperienced students and 2 engines will not save. What an instructor then. Although I may be wrong
          1. Lelik76
            Lelik76 18 September 2019 17: 05
            Wrongly written a little, the student is certainly one in the booth, the second instructor. But for a student on a 2-engine aircraft, for example, it is possible to create a situation where one engine is turned off and, accordingly, landing, which can happen in real combat work later, then the thrust-weight ratio is higher for a 2-engine one, which, in case of a student’s mistake, will help the instructor in time-constrained situations rectify the situation. We simply assemble the Yak-130 in Irkutsk, and I know this car very well from the moment we received the first drawings to the plant.
            1. NordOst16
              NordOst16 20 September 2019 09: 03
      2. rocket757
        rocket757 18 September 2019 09: 21
        I do not discuss the performance characteristics of aircraft, not my topic.
        Any equipment if designed, made as it should, maybe it should work and be in demand.
        the rest is a matter of "technique" ...
        The question is whether such a technique is needed at all, it meets the wishes of the customer, meets the standards, the requirements of the "time" of the technical service. ... this is understandable only for specialists.
      3. 3danimal
        3danimal 18 September 2019 19: 46
        F404 well-developed, reliable, powerful. The best choice.
      4. NEOZ
        NEOZ 19 September 2019 15: 52
        Quote: NordOst16
        and there is the opportunity to fly in supersonic.

        put on the Yak130 afterburner and also it will be possible!
        1. NordOst16
          NordOst16 20 September 2019 09: 03
          Well, while this is not there, maybe they will do it in the future.
  3. K-50
    K-50 18 September 2019 08: 27
    It looks like our Bunshu. (with)
    It looks like a Yak-130.
    1. 3danimal
      3danimal 18 September 2019 19: 49
      It is important to mention the similarity of the cockpit with the latest aircraft models (including the progressive HOTAS) and good thrust-weight ratio. On the Yak-130 this is not.
      1. K-50
        K-50 18 September 2019 20: 50
        Quote: 3danimal
        It is important to mention the similarity of the cockpit with the latest aircraft models (including the progressive HOTAS) and good thrust-weight ratio. On the Yak-130 this is not.

        On the Yak-130 there are systems that can simulate the flights of most Russian aircraft, including the Su-57, if that. hi
        1. 3danimal
          3danimal 18 September 2019 20: 54
          But there is no similar F404 engine hi Supersound on the TCB is a good bonus.
          Some layout similarities are unavoidable due to similar customer requirements.
          1. K-50
            K-50 18 September 2019 21: 15
            Quote: 3danimal
            Supersound on the TCB is a good bonus.

            What for? What gives, in addition to the cost of maintenance and flight hours?
            1. 3danimal
              3danimal 19 September 2019 05: 01
              More diverse training programs. The thrust-weight ratio is closer to full-fledged fighters; more energetic maneuvers can be practiced.
              Well, the question of money is not particularly acute there.
              1. NEOZ
                NEOZ 19 September 2019 16: 04
                Quote: 3danimal
                More diverse training programs.

                Yakovleva Design Bureau developed a UBS with the ability to fly in super sound, called L15.
                If the MO supplied TK with these characteristics, then the Yak130 would easily be supersonic !!!
                then MO does not consider it necessary for UBS to have supersonic !!!!!
                1. 3danimal
                  3danimal 19 September 2019 18: 43
                  The economy must be economical)
          2. NEOZ
            NEOZ 19 September 2019 15: 59
            Quote: 3danimal
            Supersound on the TCB is a good bonus.

            What for?