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MILITARY TECHNOLOGY (MILTECH) is the world's leading international tri-service defence monthly magazine in the English language. MILITARY TECHNOLOGY is "Required Reading for Defence Professionals". Follow us on Twitter: MILTECH1

23 March 2016

Italian Air Force to Receive More M-346s

Finmeccanica has recently signed a contract worth over €300 million with the Italian National Armaments Directorate ARMAERO for a further nine Finmeccanica Aircraft Division (then Alenia Aermacchi) M-346 training aircraft for the Italian Air Force. With this new order, the number of this aircraft ordered by Italy, identified by the country's air force as the T-346A, rises to 18. Delivery will start in 2016 and will be completed by 2018. The contract also comprises logistics support and an additional development phase of the integrated training systems, which include digital training aids, simulators and infrastructure at the Italian Lecce-Galatina Air Force base.

The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 is a twin-engine, two-seater aircraft, equipped with an avionics system, which according to Finmeccanica fully represents the latest generation fighters, including EUROFIGHTER, GRIPEN, RAFALE, F-16, F-18, F-15, F-22, and F-35 and can be used in all advanced and pre-operating training phases, thereby reducing the training hours carried out on these aircraft. (Photo: Finmeccanica)

The Aermacchi M-346 is the most advanced trainer aircraft available on the market today, the only one in the world designed to train pilots who will go on to fly new-generation, high performance defence aircraft," Mauro Moretti, Finmeccanica’s Chief Executive Officer and General Manager, explained. "It has won all the most important international bids and we have chosen it to be in the running to be the platform on which the new American Top Guns’ trainer aircraft will be based,”

According to Finmeccanica total of 68 Aermacchi M-346 aircraft have now been ordered by Italy (18), Israel (30), Singapore (12), and Poland (8).