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Will the new USAF jet trainer, the Boeing–Saab T-7 Red Hawk, have weapons?

I see the mention of the possibility of hardpoints e.g. here:

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/42760/air-force-wants-hundreds-more-jet-trainers-despite-already-buying-t-7-red-hawks

And this one:

https://www.thedrive.com/the-war-zone/35224/australia-serbia-emerge-as-first-potential-t-7a-red-hawk-jet-trainer-export-customers

Mentions that it might replace the J-22 for the Serbian air force. However, to replace that, it seems implied that the T-7 will be able to carry out the combat role of the J-22.

Whereas other sources, don't mention it at all.

In any case, it is still unclear to me.

Is there a more recent and more serious source that is definitive in this matter? It seems to me like this would be a very big deal -- will the aircraft have all the plumbing, wiring, fire control radar, etc. that is needed to basically be, a light attack aircraft? Or not?

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  • $\begingroup$ Small point, you don't need a fire control radar for the ground attack mission - the A-10 seems to do okay without one. That aside, interesting question! $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Aug 22, 2023 at 0:20
  • $\begingroup$ Maybe this article is helpful $\endgroup$
    – sophit
    Aug 22, 2023 at 13:58

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Flying a modern fighter is easily as much about managing all the systems as it is airmanship. You need to be able to interact with a smart weapon in a training scenario. Rather than make the aircraft simulate the weapon's sensors and systems (for many weapons), it seems very reasonable to design a trainer to carry the weapons you want to use in real combat.

The T-7 is designed for export and it seems very likely that it will both be sold as a trainer -- and armed and sold as an attack or fighter-attack aircraft.

Boeing will not want to undermine F-15 and F-18 sales -- and Saab will not want to undermine the Gripen. However, when the situation is right, they will look to sell an armed variant.

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