Another jet trainer competition about to kick off, this time the US Navy is looking for a two-seater to handle intensive land-based training and carrier touch-and-go's. Interestingly enough, this means no carrier landings and cats, although I assume the jet would have to have the capability for both due to its usage in "field carrier" training, and for emergencies. The number of hard landings they are expecting this thing to take is amazing, and I assume any non-navalized trainer will have to have significant structural strengthening and more robust landing gear, etc.
The service wants an assessment of how certain aircraft would handle the forces of high sink rate landings, the hallmark of training for landing on the short deck of an aircraft carrier.
The next generation trainer is expected to fly 400h a year. The USN wants to conduct field carrier landing practices at a rate of 1,200 per aircraft per year. It wants each aircraft to perform carrier touch-and-go landings 45 times per year.
The aircraft is to have a flight life of at least 14,400h and be able to sustain 43,200 landings.
Some expected contenders include the "Mini F-18":
Likely competitors in the USN’s next generation trainer program would be the Boeing-Saab T-7A jet, recent winner of the US Air Force’s T-X trainer competition; Lockheed Martin’s T-50A, based on the FA-50, a light attack and trainer aircraft developed with Korea Aerospace Industries; and Leonardo’s T-100, based on the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master, a light attack and trainer aircraft.
The T-45 is a variant of the 1970s British Aerospace Hawk, developed jointly for the USN by McDonnell Douglas and British Aerospace. Boeing acquired the programme in 1997 when it merged with McDonnell Douglas.