The U.S. Air Force accepted the first of five T-7A Red Hawk aircraft from the Boeing Co. on 14 September.

The five Engineering, Manufacturing and Development (EMD) aircraft will quickly begin testing and join the two contractor-owned production representative jets that have completed over 500 flights testing performance and flying qualities. Additionally, Test Readiness Review and flight test planning have been completed.

Following acceptance, EMD flight testing is planned to start at the end of summer 2023 — first in St. Louis, Missouri, then at Edwards Air Force Base, California.

The T-7A program contract was awarded in September 2018 to Boeing Defense, Space and Security and programmed to deliver an integrated system of 351 aircraft, 46 Ground Based Training Systems and associated support equipment.

The T-7A is a new advanced training system that is being developed to replace the aging T-38 Talon. The Red Hawk leverages a glass cockpit, stadium seating and embedded training to meet U.S. Air Force needs to train the next generation of fighter and bomber pilots. The aircraft, combined with advanced ground-based simulators, will be a leap in pilot training as the Air Force strives to maintain its tactical advantage over evolving threats.

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