Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master

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The Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master is a military twin-engine transonic trainer aircraft. Originally co-developed with Yakovlev as the Yak/AEM-130, the partnership was dissolved in 2000 and Alenia Aermacchi proceeded to separately develop the M-346 Master, while Yakolev continued work on the Yakovlev Yak-130. The first flight of the M-346 was performed in 2004. The type is currently operated by the air forces of Italy, Argentina, Azerbaijan, Israel, Poland, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

Variants[edit | edit source]

  • M-346: Designation for the basic type.
  • T-346A: Italian military designation for the M-346 from 2012 onwards.
  • M-346LCA (Light Combat Aircraft): Armed variant offered to Poland as a replacement for aging Su-22.
  • M-346FT (Fighter-Trainer): Multirole variant capable of switching between training and combat operations. New features include a new tactical datalink system and different armament capability, but do not include physical changes to the hardware.
  • M-346FA (Fighter-Attack): Multirole variant capable of air-to-air and air-to-surface combat with a 2 tonne payload spread over 7 hardpoints, advanced Grifo-346 radar, countermeasures and stealth features including engine intake grids and radar-absorbing coatings on the canopy and wing leading edge. It is being marketed as a light attack aircraft also suitable for aggressor training purposes. The aircraft was revealed on June 18, 2017 in a static display at that year's Paris Air Show. The aircraft is being marketed for export to South American and East Asian countries, and is claimed to be able to carry out operational missions at far lower costs than those of front-line fighters.
  • T-100: Designation used for the United States Air Force's T-X program.

Users[edit | edit source]

  • Argentina
    • Argentine Air Force x 12
  • Azerbaijan
    • Azerbaijani Air Force x 16
  • Greece
    • Hellenic Air Force x 10
  • Israel
    • Israeli Air Force x 30
  • Italy
    • Aeronautica Militare x 18
  • Nigeria
    • Nigerian Air Force x 0 - 24 on order
  • Poland
    • Polish Air Force x 12 - four more on order
  • Singapore
    • Republic of Singapore Air Force x 12
  • Turkmenistan
    • Turkmen Air Force x 6 (4 x M-346 FA and 2 x M-346 DR/FT)
  • United Arab Emirate
    • United Arab Emirates x 48

See Also[edit | edit source]

Related Development[edit | edit source]

Comparable Aircraft[edit | edit source]