Saab has started assembly production of its section of the T-7A aircraft, the advanced trainer developed and produced together with Boeing for the United States Air Force.

Saab is responsible for the development and production of the aft fuselage section for the advanced trainer, with seven aft units being produced in Linköping, Sweden for final assembly at Boeing’s U.S. facility in St. Louis, Missouri.

“In little over a year since we signed the EMD contract, we are starting production of our part of the T-7A jet. This achievement is possible due to the great collaboration between Saab and Boeing, and it is an honour to be part of this programme for the United States Air Force,” says Jonas Hjelm, head of Saab business area Aeronautics.

The work is being performed in Linkoping, Sweden, after which future production of Saab’s part for the T-7A will be moved to a new US site in West Lafayette, Indiana.

The Saab facility in West Lafayette is an important part of Saab’s growth strategy in the United States, say the firm.

Boeing is the designated prime contractor for the T-7A advanced pilot training system acquisition by the U.S. Air Force. Saab and Boeing developed the aircraft with Saab as a risk-sharing partner.

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Rob Collinson

Could these be new planes for the Red Arrows?


No, they aren’t British.

Rob Collinson

Lack of of appropriate aircraft to choose from if we are to replace the Hawk

Paul T

Yes with a New Generation of Jet Training Aircraft now available the Hawk has fallen down the pecking order quite somewhat.Any future order for the Red Arrows could prove very interesting – who’d be a Politician ?.

Alan Reid

I think the MoD will eventually just place another order for a batch of Hawk T2s (aka Advanced Jet Trainer), less the fancy avionics not needed by the “Reds” ….. and BAE will call it the Hawk 166.
I think Hawk users (Australia, as an example) are improving their fleets through upgrades, rather than going for outright replacements.

Paul T

That would be the ideal option Alan but reading previous threads on this site it seems the RAF aren’t that keen on more Hawks.


Alan, actually you are half correct regarding what’s happening here in Oz. Yes the RAAFs fleet of Hawk 127s have all recently been upgraded, but there is also a project to start looking at their future replacement too. The project (with a budget allowance of A$4b-A$5b), is due to start in the mid 2020s and complete around 2033. The RAAFs Hawks will certainly have another good 10 years service life ahead of them. As for their eventual replacement, I would reasonably imagine that the T-7A will be right up there as a top contender for the future training system for… Read more »


Well there’s no British option in the running is there. There’s plenty of Jet trainers to choose from globally if we can’t be bothered to develop our own.

Robert blay

We are still building and selling the Hawk.

Alan Reid

There’s still a trickle of orders, Frank – for instance, from Qatar in 2018.—-programme-in-full-swing
Plus BAE is supporting the local Saudi and Indian assembly/production lines.
There is still life in the wee bird, yet!


The only reason Qatar bought the Hawk and Typhoon for that matter was to reinforce its relationship with the UK at a time when it was at odds with it neighbours.

Alan Reid

Hi Expat, But geopolitics plays a big part in all major defence deals; for instance in buying F-15, Rafale and Typhoon (an incoherent purchase in fleet logistical terms), tiny Qatar was clearly buying “political insurance” in key western capitals. And with the Hawk, Britain still had a credible advanced trainer to offer as part of a defence package.
Most of those advanced fighters will probably site idle in a hangar in the desert! At least Qatari pilots will probably get to fly the Hawk!


I wouldn’t say we can’t be bothered but its hard to justify the R&D if the improvements are so marginal and Hawk has a proven reputation. If the systems are still state of the art why change the air frame unless there are long term savings from reduced maintenance etc. When export clients run competitions for this stuff price is a huge factor and a newly developed trainer will be much more expensive to recoup the R&D. Saying that the Germans developed an amazing looking Jet trainer in the early 2000’s just never went ahead with it it but looks… Read more »


The problem with the hawk is its also costs a lot to manufacture and maintain. A new design can utilise better manufacturing techniques and be engineered to reduce maintenance. I believe the T7A will cost less than the hawk.

Peter Crisp

Could they use some of the older Typhoons or would that be overly expensive for maintenance?

Paul T

Way too complex and expensive for Fast Jet Training – not that it couldn’t be done.


Aeralis are looking to develop a next gen trainer and is a British company.


I’m going to be really harsh here. The Aeralis does not offer any benefits or advantages over the current advanced Hawk, it is basically a revamped Aplhajet. The Hawk can be armed, the Aeralis in it current guise cannot. It’s all very well simulating gunning, and other weapon uses, but they don’t reflect the true feeling of using the weapons. In today’s advanced jet market, there are a plethora of choices from the advanced lead-in trainers like the Redhawk to the basic Hawk. The Auralis uses refined aerodynamics first seen on the Alphajet built in the 70’s. Yes, its modular,… Read more »

Jason Holmes

The twin vertical stabilisers seem a huge overkill for a vehicle of this size!


The Boeing/Saab T7A Redhawk is the US’s new lead-in fighter trainer. It has to behave much like the USAF’s front line fighters, so F15, F16, F22 and F35s. These aircraft have a broad range of performances between each type, with the F22 capable of seriously outdoing the others. Therefore, this aircraft has been designed with a number of key factors, so there’s not such a massive jump to their current fighter aircraft compared to other trainer aircraft, especially the T38 Talon that proceeded it. Firstly the wing is set reasonably high, this is generate more lift, but also makes it… Read more »