Boeing moved quite fast with the development of the aircraft. In just three years, the concept became a reality. In 2018, the USAF granted Boeing a $9.2 billion deal in exchange for 351 T-7As, 46 simulators, and necessary ground equipment, and by 2021, two T-7As were already performing flight tests.
Now, the first aircraft rolled out of the production facility in Missouri. It has a modular design, and it can be used in various missions. It also features advanced fighter-like capabilities comparable to today's 4th and 5th-generation fighter jets. The aircraft has its tail painted red in honor of the African American Tuskegee Airmen, who were part of the 477th Bombardment Group of the USAF during World War II.
"Like the Airmen they were named and painted to pay homage to, the T-7A Red Hawks break down the barriers of flight. These digitally-engineered aircraft will make it possible for a diverse cross section of future fighter and bomber pilots to be trained, and provide an advanced training system and capabilities that will meet the demands of today's and tomorrow's national security environment," said Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr., Chief of Staff of the Air Force.
The first production jet will remain in St. Louis, where it will undergo ground and flight tests. The T-7A program is based at Boeing's St. Louis factory, with Saab building the trainer's aft section at Linkoping, Sweden. The first jets are scheduled to arrive at USAF Joint Base San Antonio- Randolph next year.
Tails of red will train overhead??— Boeing Defense (@BoeingDefense) April 28, 2022
The first "Red Tail" #T7A Red Hawk coming out of production is making its debut. Carrying tails of red to honor the Tuskegee Airmen, it'll be the first advanced trainer jet delivered to the @USAirForce. pic.twitter.com/GQe2xFfuPk