Saab has finished building a new site in West Lafayette, Indiana, that will accommodate aft fuselage production work for the T-7A Red Hawk jet trainer the company is developing with Boeing, FlightGlobal reported Friday.
The Boeing-Saab team designed the Red Hawk trainer platform for the U.S. Air Force and won a $9.2 billion contract in September 2018 to manufacture the aircraft as replacement to the service’s fleet of T-38 trainers.
Saab is producing the initial five aft fuselage sections at its facility in Linkoping, Sweden, as part of the T-7A program’s engineering, manufacturing and development phase. The first of the five structures arrived at Boeing’s assembly facility in St. Louis on Tuesday, April 20, for integration with a ground test model of the trainer.
“We are delivering during the remaining part of this year all the [EMD] aft aircraft sections,” Saab CEO Micael Johansson said Friday during a first-quarter results briefing. “Then we are transitioning into a new contract phase, which we expect to happen in 2022.”
The Air Force plans to purchase approximately 351 Red Hawk aircraft.
“We have people that we have recruited in the US that as we speak are in Sweden to do training to go back to West Lafayette to start production,” Johansson said.