The Boeing Company [NYSE: BA] today delivered the 200th T-45C Goshawk to the U.S. Navy, marking a significant milestone in naval aviation.
"The T-45 serves as a foundation for the aviation careers of U.S. Navy and Marine Corps pilots by preparing them to fly some of the most sophisticated aircraft available today," said Rick Heerdt, Boeing T-45 program manager, during a delivery ceremony in St. Louis. "We have a well-established team in St. Louis and abroad that produces a great aircraft that helps a generation of young men and women become great naval aviators."
The fully integrated T-45 Training System, which includes the two-seat carrier-suitable aircraft, high-fidelity operational and instrument flight simulators, computer-assisted classroom instruction and a management asset that tracks all training activities, is the only system available that trains specifically to perform carrier landings. More than 3,000 Navy and Marine Corps fighter pilots have received instruction on the system at naval air stations in Meridian, Miss., and Kingsville, Tex., before earning their coveted "Wings of Gold."
"The T-45 is a special aircraft," said Capt. Charles "Win" Everett, U.S. Navy T-45 program manager. "No one is born an aviator, you become one. Training in the T-45 is one of the most important steps a future Navy pilot takes. The fact that we are celebrating the 200th delivery milestone today is a major accomplishment, but there will be others, because this plane will be around for a long, long time."
The T-45 Goshawk is a heavily modified naval variant of the Hawk, a land-suitable trainer produced by U.K.-based BAE Systems. BAE continues to provide the T-45's center and aft fuselage sections, wing set and main landing gear. Current U.S. Navy requirements call for 223 aircraft, and undergraduate fighter-pilot training in the T-45 is slated to continue until at least 2035.