T-45 Goshawk: Aircraft Carrier-Capable Trainer

The US Navy’s T-45 Goshawk is a highly modified version of the BAe Hawk land-based trainer.

Unlike on land, carrier operations require special requirements to suit the harsh conditions at sea. The US Navy’s T-45 Goshawk is a highly modified version of the BAe Hawk land-based trainer. Despite its origins in the 1990s, the T-45 is expected to remain in service until 2035. To date, more than 200 Goshawks have been delivered.

The T-45 Goshawk was developed by McDonnell Douglas, now Boeing. Its development dates back to the 1970s as the sole replacement for both the T-2 Buckeye and A-4 Skyhawk trainer aircraft. Its primary training purpose is to train pilots for jet carrier aviation and tactical strike missions. Every and Marine Corps pilot initially trains in a T-6. Pilots who are selected as jet pilots then start their training in a T-45A aircraft.

These Contenders Are Vying To Replace The Navy's T-45 Goshawk With A New  Jet Trainer

Basically T-45A Goshawk is a tandem-seat, carrier capable jet trainer, which is integrated with a training system to simulate fighter operations and equipment. Compared to its predecessor, the changes included stronger landing gear and airframe to withstand the loads imposed by catapult launches and high sink-rate landings. A catapult tow bar attachment was added to the oleo strut of the new two-wheel nose gear. Other additions were an arresting hook, an increased span tailplane, side-mounted airbrakes, and the addition of stabilator vanes, known as ‘Side Mounted Upper Rear Fuselage Strakes’, to stabilize flow over the stabilator with speed brakes extended.

The T-45C was later developed as an upgraded and improved version of the T-45A series. Improvements included the introduction of inertial navigation and a digital cockpit. As such, the T-45C model now represents the newest Goshawk standard to which all previous T-45A models are being upgraded under the T-45 Required Avionics Modernization Program. With a glass cockpit and modern avionics suite, the T-45C is representative of jet aircraft aviators operate in the fleet after earning their Wings of Gold. The T-45C began deliveries in December of 1997.

The aircraft is powered by a Rolls-Royce Turbomeca F405-RR-401 turbofan engine, delivering up to 5,527 lbs of thrust. Maximum speed is listed at 645 miles per hour with a range out to 805 miles. Service ceiling is approximately 42,500 feet, with a rate-of-climb nearing 8,000 feet per minute.

Designed as a dedicated trainer, the Goshawk has only one hard point under each wing that can be used to carry practice bomb racks, rocket pods, or fuel tanks. A centerline hardpoint can carry a cargo pod for crew baggage.


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