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Aermacchi M-346 Master Jet Trainer Specs, Price, Photos, & Details. The M-346 is a state-of-the-art fifth-generation fighter jet trainer developed by Alenia Aermacchi (Italy), a Finmeccanica firm. The M-346 jet trainer provides combat pilot training for front-line fighters with high angle-of-attack capability. The first low-cost M-346 (LRIP) aircraft made its first flight in July 2008. The innovative version, equipped with a sophisticated helmet-mounted display system, completed its first flight in May 2010.
Aermacchi M-346 Weapons System
The M-346 Master is held out at nine external store stations, six of which are underwings, equipped with a 1,000 lb class ejector release unit, and two wingtip stations for air-to-air missiles. Stations below the fuselage hold avionic pods or 300-liter conformal fuel tanks.
Weapons lugged by M-346 aircraft include: MK82 500 lb and MK83 1,000 lb bombs that are free falling or retarded; rocket launcher; AIM-9 Sidewinder short-range air-to-air missiles; Raytheon AGM-65 Maverick air-to-ground missile; MBDA (formerly Alenia) Marte MK-2A anti-ship missile.
External hard spots can also bring the Vinton VICON-601 reconnaissance pod, laser pointer pod, radar warning receiver pod and Elettronica ELT-55 electronic countermeasure pod.
The data discussion system and control functions of the store management system use one of the multifunctional displays in both cockpits. Hand throttle and stick control (HOTAS) is used to select weapons. The weapon sights are controlled by the central main processor, aiming at the data presented to the pilot through a head-up display (HUD) or helmet-mounted display (HMD).
For the role of combat trainer, the M-346 is equipped with a self-protection system and a simulated tactical scenario threat on a multifunctional display. As for operational roles, the aircraft is equipped with radar warning receivers, chaff dispensers and flares, and active electronic countermeasures.
Aermacchi M-346 Specs and Engine
The M-346 aerodynamic design uses a vortex lift to provide maneuverability and control capability at very high attack angles using a fly-by-wire control system. The M-346 jet trainer is powered by two Honeywell/ ITEC F124-GA-200 turbofan engines manufactured with Fiat Avio. The machine is equipped with a closed circuit, independent aerobatic lubrication system and Dual Control Digital Motor Channels (FADEC).
The maximum speed and M-346 jet trainer navigating are 1,092 km/ h and 1,059 km/ h, specifically. The kiosk speed is 166 km/ hour. The aircraft can ride at speeds of 127 m/ s. The service range and ceiling of M-346 are 2,590 km and 13,700 m, specifically. The runway is 320 m, while the landing is 470 m. This aircraft weighs around 4,610 kg and the maximum take-off weight is 9,000 kg.
Aermacchi M-346 Cockpit and Avionics
The M-346 jet trainer cockpit is representative of the most recent generation of fighter aircraft, and each crew position is equipped with a raster/ stroke type (HUD) head-up display, full liquid crystal multi-function display (three in each cockpit), helmet mounted screens with threat simulation capabilities, compatible night-vision goggle (NVG) instrumentation and practical throttle and stick (HOTAS) control. The cockpit is also equipped with a MK16 ejection seat from Martin Baker of Uxbridge, England.
The M-346 avionics jet trainer suite is built upon a dual-redundant, MIL-STD-1553B digital data bus with capacity for additional systems. The communication package includes a VHF/ UHF transceiver and enemy information friend transponder (IFF). The navigation suite includes a gyro laser inertia navigation system with an embedded GPS receiver, and tactical air navigation (TACAN) and VHF omnidirectional radio coverage (VOR/ IIS/ MB).
The flight control system (FCS) is a digital fly-by-quadruple-redundant full-authority system, that includes four Italian BAE Systems flight control computers. FCS provides high control capability on aircraft up to an angle ofattack (AoA) of 35 ° and higher, g-restriction, stall and rotation prevention, and maximum AoA limits.
It may be adapted to various levels of automation and autopilot modes with a reversing mode that displays automatic selection in the unlikely event of a breakdown or failure.
Aermacchi M-346 Price and Orders
The latest M-346 Master jet trainer price is around US $ 21 Million. The Italian Air Force (ITAF) is the first customer to receive 15 M-346 Master jet trainer. Alenia Aermacchi signed a EUR 220 million ($ 330 million) contract with ITAF in June 2009 to supply six M-346 jets. The first two of the six M-346 aircraft were launched in December 2010.
ITAF appointed the M-346 as the T-346A, which made its maiden flight in March 2011. The Directorate General of Aeronautical Weapons of the Ministry of Shield issued military certification for the M-346 jet on June 22, 2011. The first T-346A aircraft was received by ITAF in November 2011, while the second was sent in February 2012.
In February 2009, the UAE announced it would acquire 48 innovative M-346 warplanes. Alenia Aermacchi intended to form a joint venture with Mubadala Development in the UAE to build the final assembly line M-346.
ST Aerospace signed a EUR 170 million contract with Alenia Aermacchi on June 24, 2011 to provide logistical support to 12 M-346 trainers deployed by the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). Jet M-346 was ordered by RSAF in September 2010 under the Fighter Wings Course program. The first aircraft were launched in August 2012 and deliveries were completed in March 2014.
The Polish Ministry of Protection ordered with Alenia Aermacchi in February 2014 for the delivery of eight M-346 Master jet trainer. The first two aircraft were delivered in November 2016. Poland ordered four additional M-346 trainers alongside options for four more, in January 2018. Deliveries are expected to be completed by 2022.