Saab has delivered the second aft airframe section to Boeing for the test programme of the US Air Force’s (USAF) T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer.

The section was shipped from Saab’s Linköping site in Sweden to Boeing’s facility in St Louis, Missouri, US.

In April this year, Saab delivered T-7A’s first aft airframe section to Boeing.

In February, Boeing commenced the production of the T-7A Red Hawk advanced jet trainer.

The latest shipment is a major milestone in the T-7A programme’s engineering and manufacturing development (EMD) phase.

Upon completion of the EMD production phase, Saab’s new facility in Indiana will undertake production of the T-7A programme’s aft airframe sections.

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Saab Aeronautics business area senior vice-president and head Jonas Hjelm said: “T-7A demonstrates Saab’s approach to international growth and underpins our position as a world-class aircraft company and unique business partner.

“Together with Boeing, we are achieving our ambitious vision: to redefine what a trainer jet is and to do so through digital engineering.

“This represents yet another milestone in delivering on our commitments.”

To complete the jet and allow it to be used in the EMD flight test programme, Boeing will join aft with the front section, wings, fins, as well as tail assembly.

The aft section includes installed subsystems such as hydraulics, fuel and secondary power system.

It forms the centre structure of the advanced jet trainer from behind the cockpit to the end of the aircraft.

Designated eT-7A by the USAF, the Red Hawk training jet is fully designed using 3D model-based definition and data management systems.

The jet is an advanced pilot training system being offered to the USAF by Boeing in partnership with Saab.

It will be used to train the next generation of combat pilots.

Boeing noted that the T-7A Red Hawk jet employed the company’s T-X aircraft’s digital engineering and design.