First roll out of the Boeing (Saab) T-7A Red Hawk

Last week, Saab AB celebrated the first roll-out of the Boeing T-7A Red Hawk. The jointly developed project by Saab and Boeing is progressing, the T-7A is in the EMD phase (Engineering and Manufacturing Development). It is an important milestone for Saab, as more than 1000 employees are involved in this project. The rear fuselage of the T-7A Red Hawk is produced entirely at Saab's state-of-the-art facility in West Lafayette, Indiana.

T-7A Redhawk
T-7A Red Hawk Jet; Building 75 - St.Louis, MO. MSF22-012 Series.

The project between Boeing and Saab started with a signature in December 2013. Prior to that, the new US Air Force (USAF) training aircraft had been negotiated for 3 years. The TA Red Hawk will replace the outdated Northrop T-38 and will be operational by 2024. The modern training jet is also in the tradition of a Saab 105, an aircraft trainer from the 1960s.

The T-7A is nicknamed the Red Hawk, which is reflected in the red tail fins and is a political statement. Because this is how Boeing and Saab honor the Tuskegee Airmen.

Who were the Tuskegee Airmen?

The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African Americans allowed to enter the USAF. That was in 1940 and happened against great resistance in the armed forces. Until then, African Americans were denied the pilot's seat. The Tuskegee Airmen formed the 332d and 447 Fighter Groups, both units were active until 1948.

Many of the Tuskegee Airmen paid for the action against the German Reich with their lives. Her fight against racism in the USAF even inspired Hollywood to film her story in 1995. Under the name "Tuskegee Airmen", which was shown in German cinemas as "The honor to fly", director Robert Markowitz created a cinematic monument to the pioneers of the past.

As a distinguishing feature, the pilots of the 447 Fighter Group painted the rear wings of their P-47 Thunderbolt red, and were nicknamed the Red Hawk. Since December 19, 2019, the T-7A has officially borne the nickname Red Hawk, commemorating these aviation pioneers.

Images courtesy of Saab AB

14 thoughts on "First roll out of the Boeing (Saab) T-7A Red Hawk"

  • The regular aircraft reports finally make the Saab Group visible. Class! There is also a plant in the USA - an international company. Very few people know that. I keep hearing that they don't exist anymore.

    There are! They build jets!

    • Hello Saab community - Saab and military technology - a very fine line - currently more than ever. It is completely clear to me that without Saab aircraft construction in World War II, the automotive brand Saab would probably never have existed - the latter for me, who has been a self-confessed Saab "fanatic" (in a positive sense) since 2, hardly imaginable...
      I've only driven Saab since the 90s, currently 4 models in my own fleet.
      I have also been able to enjoy / fly with Saab civil aircraft several times - nevertheless, I can and could never "enjoy" military jets - I'm sure I'm not the only one with these doubts!? On the one hand we are talking about the destruction / waste of any resources, even if these aircraft (hopefully) never come into use, on the other hand, of course, absolutely great engineering - but under what circumstances....
      Of course, it is also clear to me – what profits can be made from military technology – if one can even call it that!? - be achieved, but at the same time be able to stand behind human destinies and destroy values...
      In the 40s, my grandfather was an engineer at the Junkers factory in Dessau - partly responsible for the landing gear technology/hydraulics on JUNKER aircraft...
      Afterwards, he often proudly told his JUNKER employees and their team spirit about his work and the team spirit - his eyes always got an indescribable glow - BUT also talked about the sad, painful and pointless part of his job!?
      Incidentally, the house next door to my grandparents in the Junkersiedlung was destroyed by an aerial bomb, what irony...
      That's why this is probably not really my topic - but has absolutely nothing to do with Tom's excellent journalistic work and his reports
      I wish us all a peaceful world - above all, of course, for our children and grandchildren
      LG.from Thuringia

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        Thank you EF moose

        At a time when there is a renewed enthusiasm for military technology, it is well and proper to remember that the world would be a better place without it...

        But how do you get that defenseless into the heads of cynics? Putin has deliberately bestowed medals for crimes, for "professionalism" and "tactical acumen" on an entity known throughout the world to have been involved in raping, looting and executing shackled civilians.

        That was on purpose. It's supposed to instill fear. The man knows no rules, not a single taboo. The idea of ​​handing Ukraine and ourselves over to him defenseless frightens me even more than any conventional weapon in the hands of Ukraine, Sweden, Finland or NATO...

        • I agree with you 100%
          My grandfather - sorry that I quote him here again - always said: "When stupidity and power come together, that's very dangerous"!
          With this in mind - let's hope for a quick and happy end to this madness....

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    Nice statement to officially commemorate the Tuskegee Airmen.

    Find it fascinating, by the way, how long military technology stays current. The Saab 105 has been in service for more than 50 years and the Northrop is even a little older. On land and water, too, the service times of many vehicles sometimes outperform their civilian counterparts by factors...
    It's a bit like military technology is exempt from the throwaway society. Whatever one may conclude from this...

    • Aircraft are kept up to date with technical upgrades. Decades of service are possible. We throw away cars, the majority throw away the leasing box after 2 or 3 years in favor of a new car. That could be changed, but nobody seriously wants that. So the company happily continues to buy new cars.

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        How come I have to think of your gentleman now? Great action. The upgrades are actually a parallel to aviation and very sustainable 😉

        But I meant it broader. No comparison to how we deal with cars, that's true. And there are certainly upgrades, seating, engines, modified wings, etc. You can hardly reconcile the climatic effectiveness of the industry, but through meticulous maintenance, modernization and relatively long use, civil aviation stands out from other phenomena of the consumer and throwaway society almost positive.

        Measured by the military use and their transit times, shipping companies, freight forwarders, bus and construction companies, DB, public transport and global airlines still seem like driven consumers.

        We live in a world in which, on the one hand, superpowers have aircraft in service that had their first flight 70 (!) years ago (B-52 & Tu-95) and in which tanks that are around 50 years old are still considered modern (in fact, first Leopard 2 prototypes so old). In which, on the other hand, civilian things are decommissioned, demolished, scrapped or scrapped comparatively early, in which everything (if it still exists) is historical at the latest by the age of 30+.

        Incidentally, I saw an early CX 2000 on Saturday. Lots of chrome, lots of charm. White on the outside, red leather on the inside. In the last 7 years I have now seen exactly as many CX as B-52s in the wild. One per …
        It's strange.

        • Well written. In my mood today, I would also be susceptible to a CX 2000. Once had a CX GTI Turbo 2.

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          The actual service life of the rolling stock on trains is significantly longer than on cars. In freight transport there are sweethearts on the road - with non-DB railway companies - that were built at the end of the 50s. They could have been modernized in the 90s. In 1999, if I remember correctly, there was even a sample of an electric locomotive (series 140) from the then repair shop in Bremen with new wiring harnesses and an air-conditioned driver's cab, but the main components were simply refurbished. The same thing had been done with a diesel locomotive. A great thing!

          However, this was scrapped because the former DB AG feared that later decommissioned locomotives would “fall into the hands of non-DB companies” and thus compete with DB. And so the locomotives that were left over and later – after the departure of the then chairman – were still sold to non-DB companies are driving around in their original condition. A conversion is out of the question today. The Federal Railway Authority as the supervisory authority would revoke the vehicle registration and demand a complete re-registration. And this bureaucratic effort is then too high.

          Applied to the car, this would mean that Tom's upgrade project with the new multimedia container would invalidate the approval of the 9-5 because he had changed something in the electrical system. New registration application as for a new vehicle and proof of the same safety with regard to crash, pedestrian impact safety, etc. Otherwise conversion according to current regulations.
          And to put the icing on the cake: during the approval process, the authority changes its requirements for the electromagnetic compatibility of built-in components and demands a safety report for the multimedia container if the software version from after May 1, 2022 has been installed.

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            Thanks, that's very interesting and insightful.

            I like that fruitful exchange of thought and (in your case) expertise in the comments that Tom always manages to casually initiate.

            Many a topic of social relevance gains more contours here than in the so-called leading media. In this sense, I also have good memories of Tom's Corona columns and the sober, factual, helpful and enlightening comments of a doctor.

          • But the last paragraph has it all! If this fiction were reality - any upcycling of old cars would be impossible.

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              This is probably non-transferrable. Completely different standards are applied to a workplace (cab of a locomotive) and it is a factor 100 and 1 more bureaucratic than with a gentleman 😉

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              Unfortunately, that wasn't fiction. I did it. Some of the vehicles were able to run with the old software because there was an approval for this combination. Another part couldn't. Very colorful trains from older passenger coaches were then used as replacements.

              Transferred to automobiles: Hengchi with new software no longer approved, the 99 from 1978 has to be used as a replacement.

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    Great jet! It's nice to read something about the flying relatives too!

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