T-45 Goshawk

T-45 Goshawk

The T-45 Goshawk is the US Navy’s two-seat advanced jet trainer. The aircraft is jointly manufactured by Boeing and BAE Systems. The T-45A was selected to meet the US Navy requirement for an undergraduate jet pilot trainer to replace the TA-4J Skyhawk and T-2C Buckeye. The TA-4J was retired in 2003 and the T-2C in August 2008.

The T-45A entered service with the US Navy in January 1992. 200 T-45 Goshawks have been delivered to the US Navy and Marine Corps and a total of 234 is planned. Deliveries are scheduled to conclude in 2009. The current production model is the T-45C which has a glass cockpit. The T-45TS pilot training scheme includes advanced simulators and computer-assisted instruction, as well as training flight programmes.

The T-45 Goshawk is a navalised version of the BAE Systems Hawk advanced jet trainer, selected by the Royal Air Force and flown by the Red Arrows acrobatic display team. Boeing, in St Louis, acts as prime contractor with responsibility for the manufacture of the forward fuselage and cockpit, overall systems integration, final assembly, flight test, and integrated logistic support.

BAE Systems is responsible for manufacture and assembly of the sections aft of the rear cockpit bulkhead, which include the wings, centre and rear fuselage, fin, tailplane, air intake, tailcone, speedbrake, windscreen, canopy, and flight controls. BMW Rolls-Royce is responsible for the powerplant and Raytheon for the simulators.

T-45 design

To meet the needs of the US Navy training mission and to ensure aircraft carrier compatibility, several modifications to the basic Hawk airframe were incorporated into the T-45 Goshawk design, including: new twin nose-wheel with catapult launch T-bar; nose-wheel steering for manoeuvring within the confines of the carrier deck; strengthened airframe and undercarriage for catapult launches; relocated speed brakes; provision of under-fuselage tailhook; revised avionics and modified cockpit layout for compatibility with front-line US Navy combat aircraft.

Goshawk cockpit

The cockpit is air conditioned and pressurised by an engine air bleed system. Smiths Industries supply the head-up display (HUD) fitted with a video camera system for post-mission analysis, primary and secondary air data indicators, and weapon aiming computer and display.

Cockpit 21 is a new digital cockpit that replaces the analog cockpit used in earlier T-45A aircraft and improves the US Navy’s ability to train pilots for the F/A-18 Hornet, the AV-8B Harrier II and other carrier based aircraft. The first T-45A equipped with Cockpit 21 successfully completed its first flight in October 1997 from Lambert International Airport in St Louis.

“The T-45A/C Goshawk trainer is not armed, but has a single pylon installed under each wing for carrying bomb racks, rocket pods or auxiliary fuel tanks.”

T-45 aircraft equipped with Cockpit 21 are designated T-45C.

The cockpits are equipped with two monochrome 5in multifunction displays supplied by Elbit, which provide navigation, weapon delivery, aircraft performance and communications data. Martin Baker mk14 NACES ejection seats are fitted.

In November 2007, Boeing was awarded a contract to fit 19 T-45C trainers with a virtual mission training system (VMTS) which will provide a synthetic radar training facility to emulate an existing F/A-18 radar system and include capabilities such as a radar warning receiver, air-to-air weapons simulation, and fleet representative radar controls.

Elbit Systems was selected to supply the VMTS in June 2008. The VMTS is planned to be operational by 2010.


The aircraft is not armed, but has a single pylon installed under each wing for carrying bomb racks, rocket pods or auxiliary fuel tanks. A single baggage pod can also be carried on the single fuselage centreline pylon. A gun sight supplied by CAI Industries is fitted in the rear cockpit.


The avionics suite includes an attitude heading and reference system (AHRS) designation AN/USN-2, a Rockwell Collins AN/ARN-144 VHF omnidirectional radio range and instrument landing system (VOR/ILS), a Honeywell AN/APN-194 radar altimeter and a Northrop grumman (formerly Litton) LN-100G ring laser gyroscope integrated with a Rockwell Collins global positioning system and Kalman filter.

The communications system consists of a UHF/VHF AN/ARN-182 radio from Rockwell Collins and a Honeywell AN/APX-100 Identification, Friend or Foe system (IFF).

Turbofan engine

The T-45 Goshawk is powered by a single Rolls-Royce navalised Adour mk871 twin-spool non-afterburn turbofan engine. The casing has been adapted and strengthened for carrier-borne operations. The engine provides an average thrust of 26kN. The fuel management and gauging system and the engine-mounted sensors are supplied by Smiths Industries.


  • T-45A: Two-seat basic and advanced jet trainer for the US Navy and US Marine Corps.
  • T-45B: Proposed land-based version which would have been basically a conventional Hawk furnished with a US Navy-spec cockpit and no carrier capability. The US Navy had wanted to procure the T-45B so that trainee pilots could benefit from an earlier training capability, but abandoned the idea during 1984 in favor of less-costly updates to the TA-4J and T-2C.
  • T-45C: Improved T-45A, outfitted with a glass cockpit, inertial navigation, and other improvements. All existing T-45As have been upgraded to the T-45C standard.
  • T-45D: Tentative designation for an envisioned upgrade of the T-45, potentially incorporating various manufacturing improvements and additional equipment, such as helmet-mounted displays.


Crew  2
Length 39 ft 4 in (11.99 m)
Wingspan 30 ft 9.75 in (9.3917 m)
Height 13 ft 6 in (4.11 m)
Wing area 190.1 sq ft (17.66 m2)
Empty weight 9,394 lb (4,261 kg)
Gross weight
12,750 lb (5,783 kg)
Max take off weight 13,500 lb (6,123 kg)
Power plant (Dry thrust)
1 × Rolls-Royce Turbomeca F405-RR-401 turbofan engine, 5,527 lbf (24.59 kN)
Power plant (Thrust with afterburner) 
Maximum speed (Sea level)
Maximum speed (High altitude) 543 kn (625 mph, 1,006 km/h)
Combat radius
Ferry range
700 nmi (810 mi, 1,300 km)
Service ceiling
42,500 ft (13,000 m)
Rate of climb 8,000 ft/min (41 m/s)
Wing loading 346.7 lb/sq ft (1,693 kg/m2)
Thrust/weight 0.41
Design load factor +7.33g 3g

  • Usually none: One hardpoint under each wing can be used to carry practice bomb racks (can carry up to 12 Mk-76 practice bombs), rocket pods, or fuel tanks. A centerline hardpoint can carry a cargo pod for crew baggage.


  • Smiths Industries, Ltd. AN/USN-2(V) Standard Attitude Heading and Reference System, later replaced by the BAE/Marconi AN/ASN-180 Navigation Guidance System
  • Rockwell Collins AN/ARN-144 VHF Omnidirectional Radio Range / Instrument Landing System
  • Honeywell AN/APN-194 Radar altimeter
  • Northrop Grumman AN/ASN-166 Inertial Guidance Set


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