Leonardo-Finmeccanica unveils the new M-346FT at the Farnborough Air Show
aerobd.news : The Aermacchi M-346 features innovative design solutions. It is an aircraft with a full-authority quadruplex Fly-by-Wire control system that, thanks to the optimisation of its aerodynamic configuration, allows the aircraft to remain fully controllable at angles of attack of over 30 degrees. This, combined with the aircraft’s twin-engine configuration, the duplication and redundancy of its electric and hydraulic systems and a choice of state-of-the-art equipment, makes the M-346 the most modern pre-operational tactical training aircraft in the world.
The M-346 is equipped with a digital avionics system, fully modelled on those of latest-generation military aircraft such as the Eurofighter, Gripen, Rafale, F-16, F-18, F-22 and the future F-35. It is therefore well-suited for every phase of advanced and pre-operational training, downloading flight hours from the more expensive frontline aircraft.
The M-346’s wide flight envelope, its very high thrust/weight ratio and extreme manoeuvrability make it an aircraft capable of reproducing, for the trainee pilot, flight conditions similar to those they will find on the combat aircraft they will go on to operate, thus maximizing the effectiveness of training. The M-346 also integrates the ETTS (Embedded Tactical Training Simulation) with the ability to simulate a complete suite of sensors, countermeasures and armaments and also to create a virtual tactical scenario, simulating air, naval and land forces, friend or foe, interacting in real time with the aircraft during the training missions.
The M-346 features hard points, allowing external loads to be carried, as well as a Helmet Mounted Display, vocal commands and an in-flight refuelling probe. The M-346 Integrated Training System (ITS) includes, alongside the aircraft, an exhaustive Ground Based Training System (GBTS). This enables the student pilot to learn and rehearse the entire aircraft syllabus and training objectives on the ground, before replicating them in flight. This provides significant cost savings when comprehensively training “fast jet” military pilots. A core element of the ITS is the Live-Virtual-Constructive (LVC), linking simulators to live sorties, allowing pilots flying a training device on the ground to be linked with those flying on real aircraft. It allows trainee pilots to add complexity to training exercises while reducing the risks and costs associated with flying several aircraft during training missions.
Aermacchi M-346FT’s main characteristics:
Carefree handling in every aspect of the flight envelope to guarantee to the pilot the best possible concentration on the mission
Twin-engine configuration and fly-by-wire commands, quadrupled to assure redundancy and the best operational security
In flight-refuelling capability for long-range missions or extended operational persistence
High speed at low altitude and high climb rate
Big handling capability, also at full load and with only one active engine
Suite of advanced net-centric communication
Tactical Data Link;
Defensive Aids Sub-System;
Radar Warning Receiver (RWR);
Chaff & Flare Dispenser (CFD)
kit for the reduction of the radar cross section
GBU-12 (500 lb) Paveway II LGB
GBU-49 (500 lb) Enhanced Paveway II GPS/LGB
Lizard 2 LGB
GBU-38 (500 lb) JDAM
Lizard 4 LGB (500 lb)
Small Diameter Bomb (SDB)
MK.82 (500 lb) general-purpose bomb
MK.82HD Snakeye (500 lb) general-purpose bomb
Air-to-Air IR missiles
630 lt – auxiliary tank
Laser Designation Pod