Alenia Aermacchi has unveiled the Republic of Singapore Air Force's (RSAF) first M-346 Master advanced jet trainer aircraft at its facility in Venegono Superiore, Italy.
The roll-out ceremony follows receipt of the type certificate from Italy's Direzione Nazionale degli Armamenti (DNA) organisation, and completion of the aircraft's initial test flight in July 2012.
Giuseppe Giordo, Alenia Aermacchi's CEO, said completion of the first M-346 trainer, two years after contract signature, involved a great team effort conducted in collaboration with the company's industrial partner, ST Aerospace.
Chang Cheow Teck, ST Aerospace president, said: "The successful rollout of the first M-346 illustrates the firm commitment by ST Aerospace and Alenia Aermacchi, in support of the RSAF's next generation training needs."
A total of 12 M-346 aircraft and ground-based training systems were ordered by Singapore in September 2010, from a consortium of ST Aerospace, Alenia Aermacchi and Boeing, as part of RSAF's Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT) programme.
Serving as the prime contractor, ST Aerospace is responsible for overall management of the programme, while the aircraft and full-mission simulators are supplied by Alenia and Boeing respectively.
In June 2011, the Italian company also finalised a €170m contract with ST Aerospace for the supply of logistics support, such as joint management of M-346 suppliers, after-sales support, spares, repair and overhaul services, engineering support, programme/contract management and field support services.
Deliveries of the M-346 are scheduled to start this year, and the aircraft is expected to replace the RSAF's A-4SU Super Skyhawk fleet, used by the AJT training programme in Cazaux, France.
The M-346 Master is an advanced lead-in fighter trainer jet designed to offer advanced and pre-operational training to pilots for flying new-generation combat aircraft.
Image: RSAF officials and representatives from ST Aerospace, Boeing and Alenia Aermacchi during the first M-346 trainer's roll-out ceremony in Italy. Photo: courtesy of Alenia Aermacchi, 2012 ©.