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T-45C Replacement

Birdbrain

Well-Known Member
What will be the replacement for the T-45C Goshawk? Will it be within the decade? Will it be domestic or foreign?

When the OBOGS issue exploded in 2017 there was a lot of talk about replacement. News media called the jets dangerous and many IPs were quoted as refusing to train students in it. However, does that mean the jet design is approaching the end of its life? Having had its first flight in 1988 means it's been in service 32 years, almost 3/4 that of the previous trainers.

Previous service life of jet trainer aircraft were the T-2 Buckeye from 1959 - 2004 (SNAs 45 years)/2008 (SNFOs 49 years) and the TA-4J Skyhawk which was in service from 1963 - 2008, although I didn't quickly find information on how prevalent it was compared to the T-2.

I know that Leonardo just landed a contract for the TH-57 Sea Ranger replacement with their TH-119 (to be designated the TH-73A). The TH-57 has been in service since 1968, a long standing 52 years. The T-44 Pegasus has been in service since 1977 (43 years). T T-6 Texan II has been in service since 2001 (19 years).

Is this "midlife crisis" common in trainer and/or operational aircraft? Did this happen with the Buckeye or the Skyhawk?

Interesting article from the CBO related to this topic from January this year: https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2020-01/55949-CBO-naval-aviation.pdf

"Naval Training and Adversary Aircraft. Although no single training or adversary aircraft is as expensive as the aircraft discussed so far, in total, such aircraft would cost about $15 billion between 2020 and 2050, CBO projects. Many training aircraft will need to be replaced from 2020 to 2050, including the T-6 Texan II, T-44 Pegasus, T-45 Goshawk, and TH-57 Sea Ranger." (Pg 9)

Page 15 shows the numbers, minimum, average, and maximum ages of all trainer aircraft as of June 30, 2018. The T-45C averages at 18.1 years.
 

Ken_gone_flying

"I live vicariously through myself."
pilot
Contributor
I know that Leonardo just landed a contract for the TH-57 Sea Ranger replacement with their TH-119 (to be designated the TH-73A). The TH-57 has been in service since 1968, a long standing 52 years. The T-44 Pegasus has been in service since 1977 (43 years). T T-6 Texan II has been in service since 2001 (19 years).
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"Naval Training and Adversary Aircraft. Although no single training or adversary aircraft is as expensive as the aircraft discussed so far, in total, such aircraft would cost about $15 billion between 2020 and 2050, CBO projects. Many training aircraft will need to be replaced from 2020 to 2050, including the T-6 Texan II, T-44 Pegasus, T-45 Goshawk, and TH-57 Sea Ranger." (Pg 9)
The T-6 is going to be around a long time. The T-6B didn’t even begin production until 2007 and the Navy didn’t receive the last one until 2016.
 

ChuckMK23

Well-Known Member
pilot
I think procurement for Navy Air training aircraft only permits one bullet in the chamber at a time - first it was T-6, now its TH-73. T-45 can withstand a lot of maturity/upgrade in its lifecycle. Look how long it took USAF to get TX up to have a roadmap to replace T-38. There are half the number of T-45's than the number of TX (T-7A) to be procured by AF.
 

sevenhelmet

Far from this opera for evermore...
pilot
I think Navalizing the T-7 could be pretty cool, and Boeing could probably use the extra contract right now.

No idea if adding a tailhook and beefing up the gear/structure of the T-7 is feasible from a mechanical standpoint, but having seen some of the non-proprietary specs and sat in the cockpit, I think it's a pretty neat jet.
 

Ken_gone_flying

"I live vicariously through myself."
pilot
Contributor
I think Navalizing the T-7 could be pretty cool, and Boeing could probably use the extra contract right now.

No idea if adding a tailhook and beefing up the gear/structure of the T-7 is feasible from a mechanical standpoint, but having seen some of the non-proprietary specs and sat in the cockpit, I think it's a pretty neat jet.
Don’t you think we should just design a reliable OBOGS system and build a plane around that?
 

HuggyU2

Well-Known Member
None
I understand the Navy measures how many traps a carrier-based aircraft can accomplish before it is trapped out.

If a jet does a carrier landing to a touch and go (no arrestment), is some sort of value (full or partial) added to the "trap count"?
 

nittany03

FUBIJAR
pilot
None
Super Moderator
Contributor
I understand the Navy measures how many traps a carrier-based aircraft can accomplish before it is trapped out.

If a jet does a carrier landing to a touch and go (no arrestment), is some sort of value (full or partial) added to the "trap count"?
I would be surprised if it did. Touch and goes don’t really feel any different from FCLPs, except seeing big gray boat instead of runway. Cats and traps are the significant events. Naturally, for every trap, there is an ensuing cat shot, unless you crane off the jet.
 

Hopeful Hoya

Well-Known Member
pilot
Contributor
It will be interesting to see what happens in the next few years with regards to VT CQ, and how it impacts the follow on trainer. There’s been talk that since the F-35 only flies in Delta Path (PLM) at the boat, and the Super Hornet/Growler is heading that way, if it even makes sense to do CQ in the TRACOM.
 

Treetop Flyer

Well-Known Member
pilot
What will be the replacement for the T-45C Goshawk? Will it be within the decade? Will it be domestic or foreign?

When the OBOGS issue exploded in 2017 there was a lot of talk about replacement. News media called the jets dangerous and many IPs were quoted as refusing to train students in it. However, does that mean the jet design is approaching the end of its life? Having had its first flight in 1988 means it's been in service 32 years, almost 3/4 that of the previous trainers.

Previous service life of jet trainer aircraft were the T-2 Buckeye from 1959 - 2004 (SNAs 45 years)/2008 (SNFOs 49 years) and the TA-4J Skyhawk which was in service from 1963 - 2008, although I didn't quickly find information on how prevalent it was compared to the T-2.

I know that Leonardo just landed a contract for the TH-57 Sea Ranger replacement with their TH-119 (to be designated the TH-73A). The TH-57 has been in service since 1968, a long standing 52 years. The T-44 Pegasus has been in service since 1977 (43 years). T T-6 Texan II has been in service since 2001 (19 years).

Is this "midlife crisis" common in trainer and/or operational aircraft? Did this happen with the Buckeye or the Skyhawk?

Interesting article from the CBO related to this topic from January this year: https://www.cbo.gov/system/files/2020-01/55949-CBO-naval-aviation.pdf

"Naval Training and Adversary Aircraft. Although no single training or adversary aircraft is as expensive as the aircraft discussed so far, in total, such aircraft would cost about $15 billion between 2020 and 2050, CBO projects. Many training aircraft will need to be replaced from 2020 to 2050, including the T-6 Texan II, T-44 Pegasus, T-45 Goshawk, and TH-57 Sea Ranger." (Pg 9)

Page 15 shows the numbers, minimum, average, and maximum ages of all trainer aircraft as of June 30, 2018. The T-45C averages at 18.1 years.
Not all the T-45’s are that old. New ones were still arriving from the factory when I was in advanced in 2009
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
I think the T-45 leads the roughest life of all of the naval flight trainers- not just from the traps and the shipboard/saltwater (and the T-6, T-44, and TH-xx all have saltwater exposure by being based so close to the Gulf), but the flying is just more aggressive than the others and harder on the airframe. Wasn't one of the problems with the T-45 fleet something with the rudders cracking?

As for navalizing the T-7, a historic review of how the Hawk was navalized into the T-45. It put on a lot of weight and got some aerodynamic mods to make it acceptably safe behind the boat. The result is a bit like a V6 Mustang- it's still a great airplane but it is a lot different from the original Hawk.

The only truly "domestic" naval flight trainers anymore are the T-44 and the TH-57. The T-6 started as a mature primary trainer from Switzerland. Long story short we made it heavier, slower, thirstier, made the visibility from the back seat worse, and ended up with something more expensive. The PC-9 has 0-0 ejection seats and the same G limits as the T-6; I'm still not fully sold on why we had to change so much. I'm not convinced that the T-6 is going to last its promised service life. Even before the last B was delivered, the problems showing up on the fleet with just a couple thousand hours included crinkling in some of the wing ribs, the avionics bay doors falling off in flight during advanced OCF maneuvers, the main landing gear doors breaking loose from the main struts. The T-2, T-34, and T-37 had reputations for being tough, rugged airplanes. The T-6 will never have that reputation.

Boeing has had a really spotty engineering record lately. There's a lot of self-inflicted wounds but sometimes it's the customer's fault (defense procurement system changing requirements). Before throwing any more Navy dollars their way, I'd wait to see if they can deliver the T-7 on time and on cost (i.e. neither Boeing nor USAF/DoD procurement screws it up). I'm also not holding my breath that the T-7 will be known for being rugged in service. Who knows though, maybe it will.
 

Birdbrain

Well-Known Member
Long story short we made it heavier, slower, thirstier, made the visibility from the back seat worse, and ended up with something more expensive. The PC-9 has 0-0 ejection seats and the same G limits as the T-6; I'm still not fully sold on why we had to change so much. I'm not convinced that the T-6 is going to last its promised service life. Even before the last B was delivered, the problems showing up on the fleet with just a couple thousand hours included crinkling in some of the wing ribs, the avionics bay doors falling off in flight during advanced OCF maneuvers, the main landing gear doors breaking loose from the main struts. The T-2, T-34, and T-37 had reputations for being tough, rugged airplanes. The T-6 will never have that reputation.
Where can I read the long story about this? I didn't know the T-6 was altered like that from an original design.
 

Jim123

DD-214 in hand and I'm gonna party like it's 1998
pilot
Where can I read the long story about this? I didn't know the T-6 was altered like that from an original design.
Just search for JPATS (Joint Primary Aircraft Training System) and read old articles to your heart's content.

I think the T-6 is overall a pretty good airplane and it's a good primary trainer, but we spun our wheels a lot and spent more money than we should have had to get the final product. And I think that's going to be the overarching theme in every new training command system in the future.
 
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