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Boeing-Saab Team Applies Digital Method to 1st Red Hawk Trainer Splice

T-7A Red Hawk
T-7A Red Hawk

A Boeing and Saab partnership completed the first digital splice of the forward and aft sections of a new trainer aircraft the two companies are building for the U.S. Air Force.

Saab assembled the T-7A Red Hawk's aft fuselage in Sweden and delivered the hardware to a Boeing facility in St. Louis, where aircraft mechanics completed the joining process in less than 30 minutes, the Chicago-based aerospace and defense company said Thursday.

Chuck Dabundo, vice president and program manager of Boeing T-7 programs, said the company aims to accelerate delivery of the service branch's new trainer platform using "digitally advanced manufacturing" approaches.

The initial T-7A is intended to serve as a test asset before the team proceeds with the engineering and manufacturing development of five trainers under an $813 million delivery order, as part of the potential $9.2 billion contract awarded in September 2018.

USAF plans to buy 351 units of the new training aircraft along with simulators and ground equipment.

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