Italian Air Force to Receive Six M-346 Trainer Craft

21 June 2009 (Last Updated June 21st, 2009 18:30)

The Italian Air Force will receive six M-346 master aircraft and integrated training service from Alenia Aermacchi, the Italian Defence Ministry announced at the Paris Air Show. Italy may buy another nine aircraft under this agreement, bringing the total number of M346s in their posses

The Italian Air Force will receive six M-346 master aircraft and integrated training service from Alenia Aermacchi, the Italian Defence Ministry announced at the Paris Air Show.

Italy may buy another nine aircraft under this agreement, bringing the total number of M346s in their possession to 15.

The air force will be the first M-346 user that is meant to train military pilots flying fourth and fifth-generation combat aircraft.

The M-346 is a new-generation advanced and lead-in fighter trainer with a high thrust-to-weight ratio of about 1:1.

The trainer can be used in all phases of advanced and pre-operational training to reduce the flight hours in more expensive aircraft.

Currently, the trainers are being developed and tested for their performance and speed to deliver the capabilities needed by the Italian Air Force.

The air force along with the company will also develop international training support capabilities of other air forces through flight simulators; ground based training system and integrated logistics.

The Italian Defence Ministry had previously supported the trainer aircraft during the bid for gaining the 48-aircraft order from the United Arab Emirates.