Swedish company has opened a new 100,000-square-foot production facility in West Lafayette, Indiana, to build T-7A Red Hawks.
The Boeing-Saab team is producing the new advanced trainer for the U.S. Air Force, with Saab providing the aft section to Boeing’s forward fuselage. Currently the aft section is built at Saab’s factory in Linköping, Sweden, then shipped to the United States.
Since the inception of T-7A, Boeing and Saab have continued to seek and evolve new program efficiencies.
The T-7A Red Hawk went from concept to first flight in just 36 months using advanced model-based engineering and digital design techniques. The digital thread, the connection of digital information through product design, manufacturing and inspection, used throughout the program has accounted for a 75% improvement in engineering quality.
In September 2018, the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a $9.2 billion contract to supply 351 advanced trainer aircraft and 46 associated ground based training simulators.
Saab announced in May 2019 that West Lafayette would be the location for its expansion in the U.S. aerospace sector and construction of the facility began in 2020. It has been completed on-time and on-budget and will start by being the site for domestic production of Saab’s aft airframe section for the T-7A Red Hawk trainer program. It will also support research and development in autonomy, artificial intelligence and advanced manufacturing.