The McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk is a highly modified version of the BAE Hawk land-based training jet aircraft. Manufactured by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and British Aerospace (now BAE Systems), the T-45 is used by the United States Navy as an aircraft carrier-capable trainer.
Design and development[edit | edit source]
The T-45 Goshawk is a fully carrier-capable version of the British Aerospace Hawk Mk.60. It was developed as a jet flight trainer for the United States Navy (USN) and United States Marine Corps (USMC).
The Goshawk's origins began in the mid-1970s, when the US Navy began looking for replacement for its T-2 and TA-4 trainers. The US Navy started the VTXTS advanced trainer program in 1978. British Aerospace and McDonnell Douglas proposed a version of the Hawk and were awarded the T-45 contract in 1981.
The Hawk had not been designed for carrier operations and numerous modifications were required to make it suitable for use on carriers. These included improvements to the low-speed handling characteristics and a reduction in the approach speed. Other changes were strengthened airframe, more robust and wider landing gear with catapult tow bar attachment and an arresting hook. It features a two-wheel nose landing gear
The Goshawk first flew in 1988 and became operational in 1991. BAE Systems manufactures the fuselage aft of the cockpit, the air inlets, the vertical stabilizer of the T-45 at Samlesbury, and the wings at Brough, England. Boeing, which merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, manufactures the remainder of the aircraft and assembles them in St. Louis, Missouri, after moving the program from the Long Beach, Ca facility.
On 16 March 2007 the 200th airframe was delivered to the U
S Navy. All T-45A aircraft will eventually be converted to a T-45C configuration under the T-45 Required Avionics Modernization Program (T-45 RAMP). The final delivery of the 221st aircraft took place in November 2009.