Navy Looking at Options for New Training Jet

A T-45C Goshawk lands aboard the USS Gerald R. Ford in April. U.S. Navy/Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Ryan Seelbach

ARLINGTON, Va. — The U.S Navy has issued request for information (RFI) to the defense industry, looking at options for a new training jet that could possibly complement or replace the current Boeing T-45C Goshawk starting in 2028. 

The RFI, posted May 14, is exploring options for a version of an existing design that would be land-based but also capable of field carrier landing practice and touch-and-go landings on an aircraft carrier but not arrested landings or catapult launches. 

The T-45 is fully carrier capable and has been in service since the mid-1990s. All existing Goshawks are T-45C configurations. A new trainer to supplement the T-45C could reduce the number of landings for the T-45C, extending its remaining service life. However, the RFI says the T-45 system “is anticipated to be re-capitalized by replacement, during the 2028 timeframe” or sooner.  

The Navy’s requirements include a two-pilot cockpit with ejection seats; a helmet-mounted or heads-up display; an angle-of-attack indexer; two weapon pylons for Mk76 practice bombs and pods of 2.75-inch rockets; and a precision-landing system; and an automatic ground collision avoidance system. 

The new aircraft must be able to simulate mission systems including radar, electro-optical/infrared sensors, electronic attack sensors, radar warning receivers and weapons employment in the air-to-air or air-to-ground modes.  

The Navy wants the new aircraft to have a service life of 14,000 flight hours and 43,200 landings. Each aircraft would be required to fly 400 hours per year and conduct 1,200 FCLPs and 45 carrier touch-and-goes per year.  

The new aircraft must be capable of flying in all types of weather, day or night. 

Ground-based training systems, including simulators, also are part of the RFI provisions. Reponses to the RFI are due to the Navy by July 13.