BAE/McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk Carrier-Capable Trainer

McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk 1

ROBOTECH Technical Files

by Jason W. Smith, with Pieter Thomassen and Tim Wing


  • T-45 Goshawk reference file

Designation: BAE/McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk Aircraft Carrier-Capable Trainer

I. Dimensions.

  • Length: 11.24 m
  • Height: 4.1 m
  • Wingspan: 9.4 m
  • Empty weight: 3.320 metric tons
  • Maximum takeoff weight: 8.003 metric tons.
  • Note: Data shown is for the T-45J Goshawk II.

II. Type.

T-45A: Two man, single-engine basic and advanced jet trainer aircraft with analogue instrumentation.

T-45C: Two man, single-engine basic and advanced jet trainer aircraft with digital instrumentation.

T-45E: Two man, twin-engine basic and advanced jet trainer aircraft similar to the C with hydraulically actuated digital “fly-by-wire” flight control system.

T-45J: Two man, twin-engine basic and advanced jet trainer aircraft similar to the E with uprated engines capable of limited thrust vectoring and electric servo-actuated digital fly-by-wire flight control system suited for “super maneuverability” aerial combat training.

III. Service History:

T-45A/C: Served with the United States Navy from 1992 through the Global Civil War.

T-45E: Served with the UN Spacy (as well as numerous national militaries of the Unified Forces) as an advanced trainer from 2004 – 2017.

T-45J: Served with the UN Spacy from 2008 until 2017 and with the UEDF from 2018 until the Invid Invasion.

IV. Propulsion.


  • 1 x Rolls Royce RT172-06-11 non-afterburning chemical turbofan, 23.75 kN maximum thrust. (Note: Boeing Aircraft lists this as the Rolls-Royce Adour F405-RR-401)


  • 2 x P&W F-134-100 variable cycle chemical turbofans, 27.4 kN total thrust.


  • 2 x P&W F-134-300 variable cycle chemical turbofans, 29 kN total thrust. Engines have vectoring nozzles and provide limited STOL capability.

V. Performance:


  • Maximum Level Speed @ 31,000 feet: Mach 1.22
  • Maximum speed @ sea level: 1160 kph
  • Maximum climb rate: 2,300 meter/minute.
  • Range (typical): 1400 km.
  • Stall speed: 130 kph
  • Maximum altitude: 41,000 feet.
  • Max load runway length: 448 meters.
  • Design-g limits: + 9.5 g / – 4.2 g.

VI. Electronics:


Radar System:

  • Hughes AWX-20 pulse-Doppler Weather Radar & Strike Finder, providing long-range detection of precipitation and lightning.

Optical tracking:

  • Thomson LT-3 multi-frequency laser ranger/designator.

Tactical Electronic Warfare System (TEWS):

  • Elettronica Radar Warning Receiver (RWR)
  • OlDelft Infra-red Warning Receiver (IRWR)

McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk 3

VII. Armament:


Four hardpoints allowing wing racks for up to six Mark 86 25lb practice bombs each (though larger weapons can be carried), or two 500 gallon underwing drop tanks, or various gun and rocket packs; one underfuselage centerline-mounted hardpoint allowing one bomb rack for up to six Mark 86 25 lb. practice bombs, or one 650 gallon drop tank, or one Oerlikon KCN 25mm gun pod with 240 rounds.

VIII. Armor:

Full chemical and biological protection. Limited protection from hand fired solids and energy beams, shrapnel and other fragments. The windshield is hardened to resist penetration by bird strikes.

IX. Development:

A derivative of the British Aerospace (BAE) Hawk attack aircraft which was itself a derivative of the BAE T.1 Hawk trainer, the tandem-seat McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk entered service with the U.S. Navy in the early 1990s. Though it was a successful trainer in the U.S. the UN Spacy was looking for a twin-engine aircraft without the shortcomings of the T-45, principle of which were low thrust, limited performance, and poor directional stability above 1.05 Mach. Both McDonnell Douglas and Dornier Aerospace submitted proposals, each upgrades of existing types: McDonnell Douglas’ being a twin-engine version of the T-45, and Dornier’s a derivative of it AlphaJet trainer. The McDonnell Douglas design was judged the winner and three prototypes were ordered in January of 2001 with the first evaluation prototype taking to the air for the first time in March of 2002. Though externally similar, the aircraft differed significantly from earlier models. Changes included enlarged vertical and ventral stabilizers, a slightly stretched fuselage intended to improve transonic performance, and different intakes.

McDonnell Douglas T-45 Goshawk 2The first prototype was lost early in the testing program after a flight control system failure, and McDonnell Douglas wasted little time in correcting the problem. The test program resumed in May 2002 and the Goshawk II quickly proved an outstanding success, with performance that met or exceeded specifications in virtually every category. An order for fifty of the planes, now called the T-45E, was placed by the UN Spacy in June 2003. Entry into service with the UN Spacy began with the “E” model in March 2004, equipping three squadrons by December 2004. In service the T-45E showed an amazing 98% reliability rate and was the aircraft that trained the first generation of Veritech pilots.

Other nations ordered nearly 350 T-45Es before the T-45J model was introduced in 2007. The “J” introduced limited thrust vectoring and slightly uprated engines as well as a hydraulic-free digital fly-by-wire flight control system in which electrical servo motors moved the flight controls. Airframe fatigue life was also increased to nearly 20,000 cycles, up from the “E” model’s 12,000. The first “J” entered service in November 2008 and would eventually equip the air arms of more than twenty nations.

Though provisions for carrying armament were built into the T-45, few saw combat, being confined almost entirely to the relative “safety” of carrier training duty, a role they performed brilliantly. Of the nearly 2,600 T-45 Goshawk IIs built, 2,159 were J models. The Invid Invasion subsequently resulted in the destruction of the bulk of the T-45 fleet and only sixteen examples were known to exist at the time of this publication.



Robotech (R) is the property of Harmony Gold. This document is in no way intended to infringe upon their rights.

Acknowledgement is extended to Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide. Peter Walker, Pieter Thomassen and Robert Morgenstern are given credit for all quotes and paraphrasing of the unofficial Robotech Reference Guide that has been utilized in this publication. 

Content by Jason W. Smith, with Pieter Thomassen and Tim Wing

Copyright © 2006, 2000 Robert Morgenstern, Pieter Thomassen, Peter Walker; 2016 Tim Wing