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Italy orders initial batch of five M-345 jet trainer aircraft

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World Defense & Security News - Italy
 
 
Italy orders initial batch of five M-345 jet trainer aircraft
 
Besides the agreement fo, Leonardo has recently signed, with the Italian National Armaments Directorate of the Italian Defence Ministry, a contract for an initial batch of five Aermacchi M-345 trainer aircraft. The combined value of the NEES and M-345 contracts is in excess of 500 million euro (US$530 mn).
     
Italy orders initial batch of five M 345 jet trainer aircraft 640 001Leonardo's M-345 HET jet trainer aircraft
(Credit: Leonardo)
     
Mauro Moretti, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Leonardo, said: “The signing of these two contracts is the result of constructive discussions between the Italian Government and industry, which helped identify the requirements and the best technological answers. Thanks to this joint understanding, we’ll be able to deliver advanced solutions to our national customer by optimizing available financial resources and developing new technologies, skills and industrial processes in our country.

The Italian Air Force has a total requirement for around 45 M-345s (designated as T-345 by the Italian Armed Forces) to progressively replace the 137 in-service MB-339 aircraft which entered into operation in 1982. The new aircraft will work alongside the fleet of 18 twin-engine Aermacchi M-346s already ordered and currently used by the Italian Air Force for the advanced phase of pilot training. Together, the two aircraft types will form the world’s most advanced training system for military pilots.

The M-345, thanks to its high performance and advanced ground-based training systems, will provide the Italian Air Force with a significant boost in the effectiveness of training, improved efficiency and a reduction in operational costs. The first delivery is expected by 2019.

The Aermacchi M-345 is powered by a sole Pratt & Whitney JT15D-5C turbofan engine. This tandem two-seat trainer jet can fly at maximum speed of 740 km/h in a range of 1,778 km.