Fresh Delays Hit Remaining USAF T-7A Red Hawk Jet Trainer Deliveries

Boeing has revealed that deliveries of the remaining T-7A Red Hawk trainer aircraft to the US Air Force have been hit by fresh delays due to supply chain issues.

The company said it completed delivering the first three test aircraft in 2023 but failed to transfer the fourth and fifth aircraft under contract.

According to company vice president Evelyn Moore, there have been various challenges with unspecified T-7A parts that are now hampering deliveries.

However, another spokesperson assured that the company is now beginning to receive some critical parts and that deliveries of the remaining test jets are “imminent.”

“We’re really focusing on safety and quality, and we are trying to get those jets delivered in the near term,” Moore said, as quoted by Defense News.

The fourth and fifth test aircraft are reportedly in the final phases of construction and could be delivered by April 2024.

The Problem

Moore did not reveal the type of T-7A parts Boeing is having problems with.

However, she said they were “multiple parts of varying sizes from several different suppliers.”

Some of the components already installed on the Red Hawks also had to be returned to their original manufacturer for repairs.

Moore said suppliers have acted quickly on fixing the “faulty” parts, and that the fourth jet now has all the necessary components installed.

Boeing is only waiting for a “handful” of remaining parts to be fixed for the fifth jet, and they are reportedly scheduled to arrive “over the next few weeks.”

T-7A Red Hawk
The T-7A Red Hawk. Photo: Boeing

Controversial Program

Even before the first test aircraft was delivered to the US Air Force, the T-7A program was marred with controversies.

In April 2023, issues with the Red Hawk’s emergency escape system caused a two-year delay in production.

Boeing also planned to begin building early production aircraft despite not having a low-rate initial production contract.

The US Government Accountability Office raised concerns about the move, saying there could be an increased risk from having the T-7’s development, testing, and production phases overlapping.

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