Boeing has confirmed it has responded to a Request for Information (RFI) from the Commonwealth for the Project AIR 6002 Phase 1 future lead in fighter training system (LIFTS) requirement, with its new T-7A Red Hawk.
The RFI to begin the search for a replacement system was issued in June by CASG’s Aerospace Systems Division through AUSTENDER, with a closing date of July 31.
“No other training system in the world today will better develop the skills required to operate the RAAF’s most advanced frontline aircraft like the F/A-18 Super Hornet, EA-18G Growler and the F-35,” Vice President Boeing T-7 Programs, Chuck Dabundo said in a statement.
Boeing Defence Australia Vice President and Managing Director, Scott Carpendale added, “The T-7 stands apart as a compelling solution for Australia’s future training requirements. We believe it meets Australia’s current and future fast-jet training needs with its next-generation system that combines live, virtual and synthetic training environments.”
Boeing says the T-7A – which the USAF has selected to replace its Northrop T-38C supersonic trainers – will provide a scalable, interoperable and configurable capability, and is ideally suited to address the RAAF’s next-generation frontline fast-jet aircraft training requirements.
The RAAFs BAE Hawk 127 lead-in fighter entered RAAF service in 1999 and, despite an extensive avionics and training systems upgrade in recent years through the Project AIR 5438 Lead in fighter capability assurance program (LIFCAP), it has suffered from poor availability due to engine and fatigue issues.
Apart from the T-7A, other potential replacements for the Hawk include the Leonardo M346, Korean Aircraft Industries T-50, or an upgraded and re-engined BAE Systems Hawk.