The Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) has received eight MB-339CM advanced trainer aircraft from Alenia Aermacchi, under a $140m (€88m) contract.

The contract also includes supply of spare parts, ground equipment and services over a two-year period, besides training of Malaysian pilots that was undertaken at Alenia Aermacchi in the beginning of 2009.

The two-seater, aerobatic, single-engine MB-339CM aircraft will be used by the RMAF for the advanced and lead-in-fighter training phases of the military pilot training syllabus.

Equipped with software to simulate complex operational scenarios, the MB-339CM has modern avionics with a human-machine interface, including a head-up display (HUD) and three multifunctional displays (MFD) in the front and rear cockpits.

An air-refuelling probe in the aircraft enables integration of new functions in its avionics system that enhances the aircraft’s training and operational capabilities.

The additional functions that can be integrated into the MB-339CM aircraft are embedded training simulation, digital maps, a cockpit compatible with night vision goggles, new radios and identification friend or foe.

A new integrated autonomous air combat manoeuvring instrumentation pod, and a modern safety equipment such as the crash data recorder and emergency locator transmitter (ELT) can also be incorporated into MB-339CM aircraft.

The MB-339CM, which has been delivered in several batches, will gradually replace the MB-339 A variant, which the RMAF has operated for over 20 years.