Leonardo presents the M-346FA (Fighter Attack) Aircraft at Le Bourget
(Source: Leonardo Aircraft; issued June 18, 2017)
Leonardo says that several countries have already expressed interest in its M-346FA, which retains its trainer capabilities while being capable of operational missions at far lower costs than those of front-line fighters. (Leonardo photo)
-- The M-346FA is a further evolution of a family concept designed to create a common baseline able to answer to the different air forces requirements in very quick times
-- The M-346FA will be equipped with the Leonardo Grifo-346 radar
-- Several Air Forces are already demonstrating their interest in the M-346FA
LE BOURGET, France --- Leonardo has shown for the first time today at Le Bourget, the Paris kermesse focused on aerospace and defence that will open tomorrow, the new fighter attack version of the M-346, a further evolution of a family concept designed to create a common baseline, able to answer to the different air forces requirements in very quick times.
The M-346 Fighter Attack will be equipped with a dedicated variant of the Grifo multi-mode fire control radar, designed and manufactured by Leonardo.
This new version of the M-346 will take its place next to the two existing variants of the aircraft: the Advanced Jet Trainer and the multi-role M-346FT (Fighter Trainer). Leonardo has already carried out the studies for the FA’s radar installation and its mechanical integration with the aircraft.
The M-346FA’s characteristics make it not only an excellent advanced trainer, but also a light fighter aircraft capable of carrying out operational missions at far lower costs than those of front-line fighters. Several air forces have already expressed their interest in it.
With seven pylons for external loads, the M-346FA will retain the excellent capabilities of the M-346 family in the advanced and pre-operational training roles, but will also be able to operate very effectively as multi-role tactical aircraft, capable of air-to-surface, air-to-air and tactical reconnaissance missions.
The integration of the worldwide successful multi-mode Grifo radar will provide the M-346FA with unparalleled versatility and effectiveness, thanks to the availability of many specialized radar modes both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface.
The New M-345 Trainer Aircraft Makes Its Debut At Le Bourget
(Source: Leonardo Aircraft; issued June 18, 2017)
-- The Italian Air Force has already ordered a first batch of five M-345
-- The M-345 will also have multi-role capability
-- The aircraft has costs comparable to those of a high-power turboprop aircraft but with higher performance level
LE BOURGET, France --- Leonardo has chosen Le Bourget air show, the well-known Paris showcase dedicated to aerospace and defence industries, for the official debut of the new M-345 trainer.
The M-345, that has already raised the interest of many Air Forces, is a training jet aircraft with costs comparable to those of a turboprop aircraft but that delivers superior performances.
The first prototype has carried out the first flight on the 29th of December 2016 while the first flight of the first pre-series aircraft is envisaged by 2018. The Italian Air Force has already ordered a first batch of five aircraft and the first delivery is expected by 2019.
Leonardo’s new M-345 jet trainer, making its first appearance at the Paris air show, has costs “comparable” to those of a turboprop aircraft” while offering much higher performance and a limited capability for operational missions. (Leonardo photo)
The new aircraft allows the Air Forces to contain the training times and provide students with a more performing platform as compared with today’s turboprop trainers in service all over the world. Moreover, the new M-345 will allow students to be exposed to the most demanding missions of their training syllabus to obtain a high-quality training at much lower costs.
The M-345 has a cockpit fully representative of the fighters, excellent external visibility. Thanks to its wide flight envelope with high maneuver capability at high speed and both low and high altitude, its modern avionic systems, the high load capacity and to its performance level, the M-345 can carry out also operational roles.
The aircraft’s long fatigue life, the maintenance philosophy organized only on two levels that eliminates the expensive general overhaul and the Health Usage and Monitoring System (HUMS) are the key elements that help to reduce the operating and life cycle costs of the M-345.
Thanks to the aircraft’s sophisticated embedded training simulation system the pilot will see his training mission enhanced by a whole series of events which will have been arranged in the planning phase including other airplanes interacting with the mission itself and connected via data link with flying assets, ground simulator and other simulation devices. The system also envisages the presence of a Mission Planning and Debriefing Station (MPDS), with which it is possible to prepare mission scenarios, upload and download data and review the missions carried out in the debriefing phase.
The engine is a turbofan Williams FJ44-4M-34 for military and aerobatic use. The cockpit is equipped with HOTAS (Hands On Throttle-And-Stick) commands, digital displays with three-colour touch screen MFD (Multi-function Display) and a Head-Up Display, that in the rear seat is replaced by a display repeater of images of the front HUD.