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Italian Defence Ministry and Alenia Aermacchi sign agreement for three M-346 trainer aircraft

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World Aviation Defense & Security News - Italy

 
 
Italian Defence Ministry and Alenia Aermacchi sign agreement for three M-346 trainer aircraft
 
Alenia Aermacchi and the Italian Defence Ministry today, December 22, have signed a contract worth EUR120 mn ($147 mn) for the supply of three M-346 training aircraft. The agreement also includes a ground base training system and logistic support.
     
     
The M-346 is the ideal platform for a latest-generation integrated training system. Its flexibility means that it can also be configured as an affordable advanced defence aircraft for operational roles. Thanks to its innovative technical characteristics, the aircraft also stands out on account of its high degree of safety and low acquisition and operating costs. The M-346 has been designed using the latest “design-to-cost” and “design-to-maintain” concepts, with an avionics system modelled on those used in new-generation fighter aircraft, such as Eurofighter, Gripen, Rafale, F-22 and the future JSF.

The M-346 Master is powered by two Honeywell F124 engines, and uses an digital flight control system by Teleavio/Marconi in collaboration with BAE System, Dowty and Microtecna for actuators. Armaments are carried on nine external store stations, six of which are underwing, equipped with 450kg-class ejector release units, and two wingtip stations for air-to-air missiles. The under-fuselage station carries avionics pods or a 300 l conformal fuel tank.

Besides Italian air force, the Alenia M-346 has been ordered by Israeli air force (30 ex.), with deliveries started in mid-2014, and by the Republic of Singapore air force, which for the deliveries of 12 M-346 trainers were completed in March 2014.