SOURCE: SATYAJEET KUMAR/ FOR MY TAKE / IDRW.ORG
The US Navy (USN) has begun its search for a new jet trainer to replace its aging Boeing T-45 Goshawk fleet which was inducted in the ’70s and with its aircraft average being aged between 10 and 31 years. T-45 Goshawk is based on British Aerospace developed Hawk Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) with tandem dual seats meant to provide basic, advanced flying and weapons training to Navy’s Carrier pilots.
As per Request for Information (RFI) issued by the US Navy (USN), it wants a non-developmental, land-based jet trainer capable of field carrier landing practice and nuclear aircraft carrier touch-and-go landings by 2028 or sooner and wants a two-pilot aircraft with ejection seats. The jet should be able to be flown from either cockpit.
Likely competitors in the USN’s next-generation trainer program include the Boeing-Saab T-7A, which won the US Air Force’s T-X competition; Lockheed Martin T-50A, based on the FA-50 light-attack/trainer developed with Korea Aerospace Industries; and Leonardo’s T-100, based on the company’s M-346.
But none of these jets have been developed for carrier landing and take off nor have they have been modified to demonstrate carrier landings and launches. LCA Navy program of India is only a modern fourth-generation fighter jet that not only has demonstrated take-off and landings onboard India’s lone aircraft carrier but also has an NP-1 (KH-T3001) which is Two-seat Naval variant of LCA which also has demonstrated carrier operations.
RFI issued by the US Navy (USN) doesn’t call for actually arrested landings or catapult launches from aircraft carriers but carrier touch-and-go landings but an aircraft to perform carrier touch-and-go landings still requires major changes to the lower undercarriage, landing gears, and fuselage so that it can perform such operations on actual carrier and India has invested and developed most of this technology which has worked and has been perfected over the years making LCA-Navy one for the perfect candidate if India responds to the RFI send out by the US Navy.
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