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Aermacchi M-346 Master

The Aermacchi M-346 Master aircraft is build by Alenia Aermacchi.

The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master AJT, or the Macchi 346, is a twin-turbofan lead-in fighter transonic trainer aircraft (LIFT). It is based the Russian Yak-130. The M-346 is designed for training combat pilots for front line fighter aircraft. It is capable of transonic flight without using an afterburner, which is designed to reduce acquisition and operating costs. Two engines and triple-quadruple redundant systems enhance reliability.

The aerodynamic design of the M-346 uses vortex lift to provide maneuverability and controllability at very high angle of attack (up to 40 degrees) using a fly-by-wire control system.

The aircraft is powered by two Honeywell F124 engines, and uses a digital flight control system by Teleavio / Marconi in collaboration with BAE Systems, Dowty and Microtecnica for actuators.

The M-346 has a fully digital flight controls and avionics. By downloading a significant proportion of the training syllabus, the M-346 is also extremely cost-effective. This "downloading" training from more expensive platforms, will allow the M-346 to behave like a fully located jet like the F-15, F-16, or even the F-35.

ST Aerospace had been awarded the contract to acquire twelve M-346 and a ground based training system on behalf of RSAF. As stipulated in the contract, ST Aerospace will act as the main contractor to maintain the aircraft after delivery by Alenia Aermacchi while Boeing would supply the training system. Delivery date is scheduled from 2012 onwards. Our estimated base pricetag for a combat-config M-346 fly-away cost should be around USD$15 Million per aircraft.

Update: The first M-346 aircraft produced for the Italian Air Force (ITAF) had a successful flight on 31 March 2011. The ITAF has designated the plane as the T-346A. Flown by Chief Test Pilot Quirino Bucci, the aircraft took off at 4 p.m. from Venegono, the home airfield of Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company controlled by Alenia Aeronautica. The flight lasted 40 minutes and the T-346A reached a maximum altitude of 15,000 ft., covering the planned flight envelope in terms of speed, angle of attack and load factor.

the T-346A will feature an enhanced avionics suite. This includes a helmet-mounted display, voice commands, automatic disorientation recovery and ground proximity warning system, plus simulated forward-looking infrared sensor and an integrated stores management system. Such features will enable operators to reduce flying activities at the operational conversion unit level - a practice referred to as "downloading" - and benefit from a related reduction in through-life costs and airframe consumption on frontline types.

M-346 is built in Alenia Aeronautica.factory located at Venegono Superiore (Varese), Italy.

Lecce Air Base (Comune di Galatina, Provincia di Lecce, South-Eastern Italy) where the Italian Air Force Flight School (61st Wing) will base the M-346 trainers.

Alenia Aermacchi has provided the new Italian training system as a package that includes the new T-346 advanced jet trainer and all the ground-based training. With Alenia Aermacchi building several "hangarettes", flightline support facilities and a new training building at Lecce. This will eventually house two CAE full mission simulators, three part-task trainers to be developed by the same company with assistance from Selex Galileo, plus computer-based trainers and multimedia facilities. Mission planning and debriefing stations will also be provided, and operations managed using a training mission information system. In the first training phase, Alenia Aermacchi will also provide pilot conversion on the new aircraft and crew chief qualification training. The company will manage component-level logistic support and deliver complete aircraft maintenance services for the first three years of operation.

Aermacchi M-346 Master has a seating capacity of 2.

Aermacchi M-346 Master has an overall length of 11.49 meters (37.6_ft). It has a wing span of 9.72 meters (31.8_ft). The overall height of 4.76 meters (15.6_ft). The wing area of Aermacchi M-346 Master is of about 23.52 sq.meters (253.2_sq.ft.), student and instructor. The overall weight of an empty aircraft is about 4610 kilograms (10,142.0_lbs). And it has a maximum take-off weight of about 9500 kilograms (20,900.0_lbs). Aermacchi M-346 Master can reach a maximum speed of about 1255 km/hr (677.7_knots, 780.0_mph). And the Aermacchi M-346 Master has a maximum crusing range of about 1890 kilometers (1,174.4_miles, 1,020.5_nautical miles). Aircraft can reach a service height of about 13715 meters (44,848.0_ft).

The turbofan engine powered Aermacchi M-346 Master uses 2, Honeywell F124-GA-200. It can deliver a total thrust of approximately 55.6 kilo newtons (12,403.1_lbf).

Updated On: 18.10.15


M-346 at Paris Airshow 2009.