Boeing has unveiled the first 351 T-7A Red Hawk advanced training aircraft to be delivered to the US Air Force (USAF).

The aircraft was revealed during a roll-out ceremony held at the company’s production facility at St Louis Lambert International Airport in Missouri, US.

Boeing was awarded a $9.2bn contract in September 2018 to deliver 351 Red Hawk aircraft for the USAF. The production work started in February 2021.

The company has also collaborated with Saab to provide an aft airframe section for the aircraft.

The new Red Hawk aircraft includes a red tail to honour the Tuskegee airmen of World War II.

USAF Academy superintendent lieutenant-general Richard Clark said: “With this rollout, we honour our storied history and the heroes who wrote the chapters.”

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Once delivered, the aircraft, simulators and associated ground equipment will replace the US Air Education and Training Command’s (AETC) ageing T-38C Talon aircraft fleet.

The new aircraft will train the AETC pilots to fly the USAF’s fourth and fifth-generation aircraft.

AETC commander lieutenant general Brad Webb said: “The T-7A aircraft and accompanying ground systems will help us meet the Air Force’s mission and prepare aircrew to fight future threats.

“Getting the T-7A into the hands of our instructors, students and maintainers is important to our initiatives in transforming pilot training to ensure the highest calibre of pilots are ready for future conflict.”

The aircraft will remain at the Missouri facility and undergo a series of ground checks and taxi tests, before its final delivery to the USAF.

Once the ground tests are complete, the aircraft will fly to the Edwards Air Force Base (AFB) in California later this year to commence the flight tests.