M-346FA: Out of the Master’s Shadow

With a wide range of weapons and a compact multimode radar, the M-346FA is the latest Italian jet trainer to be off ered for combat duties. David Willis looks at the light fighter/attack version of Leonardo’s M-346 Master.

Italy’s Leonardo (and its predecessor Aermacchi) has a long history of developing light strike variants of its advanced trainers. Both the MB.326 and MB.339 won significant orders configured for combat roles, which the company is hoping to repeat with its current advanced trainer, the M-346 Master. Developed as an integrated training system to prepare pilots for the digital cockpits of the latest generation of multirole combat aircraft, the M-346 has been ordered by Israel (30), Italy (22, made up of aircraft for the Aeronautica Militare (AM) and the International Flight Training School ffiIFTS), Poland (16) and Singapore (12), with further commitments from existing and new customers expected.


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