Boeing is positioning the T-7A Red Hawk it is developing and building with Saab for military trainer and light attack requirements across the Asia-Pacific region, the US corporation announced at the Singapore Airshow on 12 February.
Thomas Breckenridge, vice-president of international sales in Boeing’s strike, surveillance and mobility business unit, told journalists that the company sees opportunities for global sales of up to 2,600 T-7As.
The US Air Force is contracted to procure 351 of these aircraft under a USD9.2 billion contract announced in September 2018. Breckenridge also indicated that Asia-Pacific countries could also emerge as principal operators of the type.
Breckenridge said factors that could prove attractive to Asia-Pacific customers include: the aircraft’s re-configurable cockpit that allows it to complement a range of advanced fighter aircraft; the ease with which training can be supported through an open mission system shared by simulator and aircraft; and the aircraft’s design, which is intended to meet future mission requirements.
He also confirmed that Boeing would pursue regional sales of the T-7A to meet procurement requirements for both trainer and light attack aircraft. Boeing has plans to build up to 48 T-7As per year for the USAF, with entry into USAF service planned for 2023. Breckenridge said the company also has capacity to integrate new export orders into its production schedules.
Breckenridge did not provide a breakdown of expected future customers in the Asia-Pacific, although he has previously confirmed that Boeing has held talks with the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) and other regional operators about potential programmes to supply the T-7A. Speaking in 2019 he said Boeing’s discussions with the RAAF were aimed at supporting the company’s understanding of the service’s future pilot trainer requirements.
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