The new M-346FT airplane unveiled at the "Farnborough Air Show"
Farnborought, UK - Aermacchi M-346FT -Fighter Trainer- will be the name of the new aircraft
World’s first for the Aermacchi M-346FT aircraft of Leonardo Finmeccanica that makes its official debut at "Farnborough Air Show" that opens today July 11th. It is the multi-role version of the M-346 whose characteristic is to pass very easily from the trainer aircraft configuration to the operational mission. Mauro Moretti, Leonardo’s CEO and General Manager, has declared: “We Invest in the technological development of highest-added-value activities so that we can stay one step ahead of our competitors. The technological excellence of our trainers is acknowledged worldwide and today we are ready to offer our customers an aircraft capable of combining the operational and training requirements of the Air Forces all over the world, assuring top performances and remarkably lower costs".” Based on the advanced trainer M-346, the FT (Fighter Trainer) variant integrates a wide range of systems and sensors for tactical support and air defence, a tactical data link, a self defence system, recognition and targeting sensors and a series of weapon systems. This aircraft’s configuration is representative of a basic version with operational capabilities that can be integrate with additional sensors in the future. "It is the most advanced trainer aircraft currently available on the market and is the only in the world conceived purposefully to train pilots destined to high-performance latest-generation military aircraft". 68 units have been ordered by the Air Forces of Italy (18), Singapore (12), Israel (30) and Poland (8) and it has been selected by the United Arab Emirates. "Thanks to its advanced technical design and adoption of modern “Design-to-cost” and “Design-tomaintain” concepts, the M-346 has reduced acquisition and operation costs. Furthermore, reducing the maintenance hours requirement of the aircraft has increased its cost-effectiveness. The Aermacchi M-346 features innovative design solutions. It is an aircraft with a full-authority quadruplex Fly-by-Wire control system that, thanks to the optimisation of its aerodynamic configuration, allows the aircraft to remain fully controllable at angles of attack of over 30 degrees. This, combined with the aircraft’s twin-engine configuration, the duplication and redundancy of its electric and hydraulic systems and a choice of state-of-the-art equipment, makes the M-346 the most modern pre-operational tactical training aircraft in the world. It is equipped with a digital avionics system, fully modelled on those of latest-generation military aircraft such as the Eurofighter, Gripen, Rafale, F-16, F-18, F-22 and the future F-35. It is therefore well-suited for every phase of advanced and pre-operational training, downloading flight hours from the more expensive frontline aircraft. Its wide flight envelope, its very high thrust/weight ratio and extreme manoeuvrability make it an aircraft capable of reproducing, for the trainee pilot, flight conditions similar to those they will find on the combat aircraft they will go on to operate, thus maximizing the effectiveness of training. The airplane also integrates the ETTS (Embedded Tactical Training Simulation) with the ability to simulate a complete suite of sensors, countermeasures and armaments and also to create a virtual tactical scenario, simulating air, naval and land forces, friend or foe, interacting in real time with the aircraft during the training missions. The aircraft features hard points, allowing external loads to be carried, as well as a Helmet Mounted Display, vocal commands and an in-flight refuelling probe. The M-346 Integrated Training System (ITS) includes, alongside the aircraft, an exhaustive Ground Based Training System (GBTS). This enables the student pilot to learn and rehearse the entire aircraft syllabus and training objectives on the ground, before replicating them in flight. This provides significant cost savings when comprehensively training “fast jet” military pilots. A core element of the ITS is the Live-Virtual-Constructive (LVC), linking simulators to live sorties, allowing pilots flying a training device on the ground to be linked with those flying on real aircraft. It allows trainee pilots to add complexity to training exercises while reducing the risks and costs associated with flying several aircraft during training missions". Aermacchi M-346FT’s main characteristics: - Carefree handling in every aspect of the flight envelope to guarantee to the pilot the best possible concentration on the mission - Twin-engine configuration and fly-by-wire commands, quadrupled to assure redundancy and the best operational security - In flight-refuelling capability for long-range missions or extended operational persistence - High speed at low altitude and high climb rate - Big handling capability, also at full load and with only one active engine - Suite of advanced net-centric communication - Tactical Data Link; - Defensive Aids Sub-System; - Radar Warning Receiver (RWR); - Chaff & Flare Dispenser (CFD) - kit for the reduction of the radar cross section Integration capability: - GBU-12 (500 lb) Paveway II LGB - GBU-49 (500 lb) Enhanced Paveway II GPS/LGB - Lizard 2 LGB - GBU-38 (500 lb) JDAM - Lizard 4 LGB (500 lb) - Small Diameter Bomb (SDB) - Rocket launchers - MK.82 (500 lb) general-purpose bomb - MK.82HD Snakeye (500 lb) general-purpose bomb - Gun pod - Air-to-Air IR missiles - 630 lt - auxiliary tank - Reconnaissance Pod - Laser Designation Pod.
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