The Largest Security-Cleared Career Network for Defense and Intelligence Jobs - JOIN NOW


M-346 Master (Aeronautica Militare)

At the 48th International Air Show in June 2009 at Le Bourget, Paris, Alenia Aermacchi announced that Italys Air Force had signed a long-awaited contract to buy the companys new M-346 Master advanced trainer jet. The Italian Defence Ministry and Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, jointly announced that the agreement to supply six M346 Master aircraft and an integrated training service to the Italian Air Force was in the process of being finalised. The agreement foresaw the acquisition of a further nine aircraft, for a total of 15 M-346s Master.

The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 is the most advanced trainer aircraft available on the market today and the only one specifically designed to prepare pilots for high performance new generation aircraft. The M-346 entered service in 2013 with both the Italian Air Force and Republic of Singapore Air Force. It has been ordered by Israel, which receive the first M-346 in 2014, and Poland, under a contract signed in February 2014.

A M-346 of the Italian Air Forces 61st Air Wing (called T-346A by ItAF) was temporarily deployed in mid-2015 to Grosseto Air Base to start testing the aircrafts capability as an "aggressor" in dissimilar combat training missions with the Eurofighter of the 20th Squadron OCU, Operational Conversion Unit, of the 4th Air Wing.

Starting in August 2015 the students of the Italian Air Force who are to fly on the combat aircraft will accomplish the trainings phase IV on the new M-346 - the final step before the passage to the operational airplanes. The capabilities and the characteristics of the M-346 offer the OCU a kind of training very different from the one provided so far. The tests validated the ItAFs M-346 in the role, among the ones envisaged, of Red" to train future Eurofighter pilots in DACT (Dissimilar Air Combat Training) scenarios.

The two aircraft are interoperable: in the tests carried out the M-346 has operated at 100% in BVR (Beyond Visual Range) missions thanks to its own data-link, while the Eurofighter has used its own FPR-14 Autonomous Air-Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation (AACMI) pod to simulate air-to-air radar-to-radar missions. Thanks to the perfect interoperability, to the technological capabilities intrinsic in the two aircraft, and to the M-346 performance, ItAF can now assure a high-quality training by simulating various operational scenarios for its future fighter pilots and instructors.

Join the mailing list

Page last modified: 26-02-2016 19:15:31 ZULU