The McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) T-45 Goshawk is a highly modified version of the BAE Hawk land-based training jet aircraft. Manufactured by McDonnell Douglas (now Boeing) and British Aerospace (now BAE Systems), the T-45 is used by the United States Navy as an aircraft carrier-capable trainer.The T-45 Goshawk is a fully carrier-capable version of the British Aerospace Hawk Mk.60.It was developed as a jet flight trainer for the United States Navy (USN) and United States Marine Corps (USMC).
The Hawk had not been designed for carrier operations and numerous modifications were required to make it suitable for use on carriers. These included improvements to the low-speed handling characteristics and a reduction in the approach speed.It was found that the aircraft was apt to stall at the low approach speed required. Modifications were designed by BAe in England; most notably a simple slat system was devised, operated by an actuator and linkage mechanism to fit into the small space available. Strakes were also added on the fuselage to improve airflow. Other changes included a strengthened airframe,more robust and wider landing gear with catapult tow bar attachment and an arresting hook,a two-wheel nose landing gear,wing-tips squared off, 6-inch (0.152 m) extension to the tail fin, an increased span tailplane (also with squared-off tips fitted) and a single ventral fin in front of the arrestor hook.
BAE Systems manufactures the fuselage aft of the cockpit, the air inlets, the vertical stabilizer of the T-45 at Samlesbury, and the wings at Brough, England. Boeing, which merged with McDonnell Douglas in 1997, manufactures the remainder of the aircraft and assembles them in St. Louis, Missouri, after moving the program from the Long Beach, California facility. On 16 March 2007 the 200th airframe was delivered to the US Navy.Later production aircraft were built with enhanced avionics systems for a heads up display (HUD) and glass cockpit standard, while all extant T-45A aircraft were eventually be converted to a T-45C configuration under the T-45 Required Avionics Modernization Program (T-45 RAMP), bringing all aircraft to same HUD plus glass cockpit standard. The final delivery of the 221st aircraft took place in November 2009.