First Boeing-Saab T-7a Red Hawk spliced together

The front fuselage of the first Boeing-Saab T-7A Red Hawk advanced training aircraft has been joined with its aft section in St Louis, Missouri, in a process that took under 30 minutes due to model-based engineering and 3D design used in the key USAF programme.

Manufactured by Saab in Linköping, Sweden, under a joint development agreement with Boeing, the aft section was then dispatched to the US in a journey of more than 4,500m (7,200km).

T-7A Red Hawk
The T-7A Red Hawk trainer is being manufactured by Boeing in the US and Saab in Sweden. Boeing

According to information released by Boeing on May 13 the aircraft, which will be used for static test, is the first engineering and manufacturing development test asset to be spliced. It will be followed by five engineering and manufacturing development jets as part of 351 T-7A Red Hawk trainers to be produced for the USAF.

“This moment marks a key stage in the evolution of the T-7A Red Hawk,” said Chuck Dabundo, vice president and programme manager of Boeing T-7 programs. “Employing digitally advanced manufacturing and build techniques developed by Boeing over the past two decades, we are bringing this trainer to future pilots sooner than ever before possible and with greater quality.”