M-346 Master

Alenia Aermacchi has subcontracted Northrop Grumman Italia to supply attitude heading reference systems (AHRS) to the Israeli Air Force’s M-346 Master trainer aircraft fleet.

The undisclosed contract covers delivery of LISA-200 AHRS by Northrop, which has served as M-346 programme supplier for the past five years.

Northrop Grumman Italia managing director and general manager Marco Clochiatti said the latest award demonstrates the company’s navigation expertise and follows its previous collaborations with Alenia in the Eurofighter development programme.

"The LISA-200 is ideally suited to meet the rigorous standards set by the M-346, which is one of the world’s most modern and advanced jet trainer systems," Clochiatti added.

Derived from the Northrop Grumman LN-200 inertial measurement unit (IMU), the LISA-200 is a lightweight fibre optic gyroscope (FOG) AHRS featuring high-speed data refresh rate and output to meet the rigorous specifications of a fly-by-wire quadruple-redundant control system.

Manufactured in a single box configuration to integrate into legacy mechanical Vertical Gyros’ footprints, the system also supports the incorporation of emerging advanced technologies, such as micro electro-mechanical sensors (MEMS).

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An array of pre-installed technologies, including flight management and control software, control panels and displays, as well as navigation sensors can be provided along with the system due to its modular architecture.

More than 4,000 LISA-200 systems has been delivered by the company to date to the customers for deployment on a wide range of military rotary and fixed wing aircraft worldwide.

Alenia is scheduled to deliver a total of 30 M-346 aircraft, along with engines, maintenance, logistics, simulators and training support to IAF, as part of a contract signed with the Israeli Ministry of Defence (IMOD) in July 2012.

Powered by two Honeywell F124 engines, the M-346 Master is a military transonic trainer aircraft designed to offer combat pilot training for frontline fighters with high angle-of-attack capability.

Image: Alenia Aermacchi’s M-346 Master aircraft on display. Photo: courtesy of MilborneOne.