When Boeing won the competition to develop the Air Force’s future training system in 2018, many observers were amazed at how low the price was. It turns out that low price is just the beginning of what makes the program, now called the T-7 Red Hawk, different. Contrary to rumors making the rounds in Washington, the program is precisely on schedule and will begin delivering replacements for the aged T-38C Talon in 2023. T-7 leverages open system architecture, rapid software development and digital engineering to a greater degree than any previous Air Force program, and as a result it will produce a versatile, adaptable training system. The plane is cheap to build and maintain, and the overall system (including simulators) is easy to update. The Air Force requirement is for 351 planes, but Boeing figures it could eventually sell over 2,000 Red Hawks in diverse variants. I have written a commentary for Forbes here.
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