Boeing announced Tuesday that the first U.S. portion of the T-7A Red Hawk advanced trainer has officially entered the company’s production line.

The training jet, designated the eT-7A Red Hawk by the U.S. Air Force because of its digital heritage, was fully designed using 3D model-based definition and data management systems developed at Boeing during the last two decades, the announcement said.

The T-7A Red Hawk employed the digital engineering and design of the Boeing T-X aircraft that went from firm concept to first flight in 36 months.

“By creating aircraft and systems along a digital thread, we can accelerate build times and increase quality and affordability for our customers in a way that has never been done before,” said Shelley Lavender, Boeing senior vice president of Strike, Surveillance and Mobility.

In September 2018, the U.S. Air Force awarded Boeing a 9.2 billion U.S. dollars contract to supply 351 advanced trainer aircraft and 46 associated ground-based training simulators. Saab is teamed with Boeing on the trainer and provides the aft fuselage of the jet, according to the announcement. Enditem

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