The first production T-45 Goshawk jet trainer for the U.S. Navy, equipped with a new digital cockpit known as Cockpit-21, was presented in ceremonies today at The Boeing Company in St. Louis.
The digital Cockpit-21 upgrades the analog cockpit produced in earlier T-45A aircraft and provides the Navy with a state-of-the-art cockpit to train pilots destined for the F/A-18 Hornet, the AV-8B Harrier II and other sophisticated carrier-based aircraft.
"The Cockpit-21 aircraft continues the T45TS program's tradition of innovation and excellence in naval flight training," said Capt. Tim Heely, U.S. Navy program manager for the T-45 Training System (T45TS). "In every way, the T45TS is the most advanced total training system in the world and ensures U.S. Navy and Marine Corps pilots are the best trained pilots in naval aviation."
T-45 aircraft equipped with Cockpit-21 are designated T-45C. These aircraft have two multi-function displays in each cockpit; the displays provide navigation, weapon delivery, aircraft performance and communications data.
The first Cockpit-21 aircraft now goes to Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md., for testing of the production configuration. The second T-45C will arrive at Naval Air Station (NAS) Meridian, Miss., in December; it will be the first Goshawk delivered to Training Wing One. The T-45C will eventually replace the remaining T-2C Buckeyes and TA-4J Skyhawks at NAS Meridian.
The Goshawk, which had its first flight in April 1988, is fully operational at Naval Air Station Kingsville, Texas. Undergraduate jet pilot training in the T45TS began in January 1994 at NAS Kingsville. The first class of 10 graduates earned its wings in October 1994. Undergraduate training at NAS Meridian will begin in July 1998. Plans call for the current T-45A fleet at NAS Kingsville to be upgraded to the T-45C configuration with the Cockpit-21 digital cockpit.
Boeing provides the T-45 Goshawk aircraft (a two-seat, single-engine jet), advanced flight simulators, computer-assisted instructional programs, a computer-based training integration system and contractor logistics support.
British Aerospace is the principal supplier to Boeing of airframe components, and Hughes Training Systems is the supplier for the flight trainers. The aircraft's Adour engine is built by Rolls-Royce, Ltd.