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Aermacchi to Upgrade Italian MB-339CD Trainers

VENEGONO, Italy --- Today Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica Group company, signed a contract with the Italian Ministry of Defence to upgrade to “Batch 2” configuration 14 MB-339CD advanced trainers already in service with the Italian Air Force and built to “Batch 1” configuration under a previous 1995 contract.

The new contract has an overall value of 41.2 million Euros. The timing agreed with the Air Force envisions a two-year programme that will see the reconfigured aircraft redelivered within 2009.

The upgrade of the 14 MB-339CD trainers centres mainly around the avionics systems, improving them in the areas of electro-avionics, identification and localization, integrating night vision capabilities and every other inspections and planned corrective actions.

This contract will allow the Italian Air Force to rely on a complete line-up of training aircraft at its Lecce air base that – in the current drive to increase its internationalization – is among the candidates to host the AEJPT, the future European military pilot training system.

The contract also includes logistics support activities to manage repairs on a selected range of aircraft components, carried out directly at the 61st Wing’s Lecce base, which introduced the MB-339CD in 1997. Through this support the ITAF intends to optimise the flying potential of the MB-339 fleet, integrating its own logistic resources with those of industry.


The MB-339CD “Batch 2” is a two-seat, aerobatic, single-engine turbojet aircraft for the Advanced and Lead-In-Fighter Training phases of the military pilot training phases. With its performance, excellent handling and sophisticated systems, the MB-339CD is one of the most successful members of the Alenia Aermacchi training aircraft family.

In addition to the Italian Air Force, the MB-339CD is used by the air forces of eight nations. The latest customer is Malaysia, which ordered MB-339CD eight in November 2006.

The MB-339CD is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics with a human-machine interface that includes a HUD (Head-Up Display) and three MFD (Multi Functional Display) in both the front and rear cockpits, as well as software to simulate complex operational scenarios. It features an air-refuelling probe, which makes the aircraft even more similar to most modern fighters, and enhanced training and operational capabilities.

In the new “Batch 2” configuration the addition of new functions in the avionics system such as upgraded embedded simulation, digital maps, compatibility with night vision goggles, new radio and IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) systems, a new AACMI (Autonomous Air Combat Manoeuvring Instrumentation) pod and also modern safety equipment as a Crash Data Recorder and an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT).


Alenia Aermacchi Signs 41.2 million Euro Contract with Italian Air Force to Implement New Configuration on “Batch 1” MB-339CD