Starting in 1949, the U.S. Navy used the Lockheed T-33 for land-based jet aircraft training. The T-33 was a derivative of the Lockheed P-80 fighter and was first named TO-2, then TV-2 in Navy service. However, the TV-2 was not suitable for operation from aircraft carriers. The persisting need for a carrier-compatible trainer led to a further, more advanced design development of the P-80/T-33 family, which came into being with the Lockheed designation L-245 and US Navy designation T2V. Lockheed's demonstrator L-245 first flew on 16 December 1953 and production deliveries to the US Navy began in 1956.
Compared to the TV-2, the T2V was almost totally re-engineered for carrier landings and at-sea operations with a redesigned tail, naval standard avionics, a strengthened undercarriage (with catapult fittings) and lower fuselage (with a retractable arrestor hook), and power-operated leading-edge flaps (to increase lift at low speeds) to allow carrier launches and recoveries, and an elevated rear (instructor's) seat for improved instructor vision, among other changes. Unlike other P-80 derivatives, the T2V could withstand the shock of landing on a pitching carrier deck and had a much higher ability to withstand sea water-related aircraft wear from higher humidity and salt exposure.
One T-1A is currently (2011) airworthy, based at Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport (former Williams Air Force Base) in Mesa, Arizona, and being flown for experimental and display purposes. Two examples are preserved on public display in Tucson, Arizona.