The First Reconfigured MB-339CD for the Italian Air Force Takes to the Air
(Source: Alenia Aermacchi)
12:00 AM, October 10, 2008
VENEGONO, Italy --- In late September, Alenia Aermacchi test-flew the first MB-339CD upgraded to Batch 2 standard. Over the following days the aircraft completed its company test flights and is now ready to be submitted to the Italian Air Force for its official acceptance.>> This the first of 14 trainers covered by the agreement signed in October 2007 between the Italian Air Force and Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company. The deal provides for the upgrading to Batch 2 standard of 14 MB-339CD advanced trainers built to Batch 1 standard under a previous 1995 contract and already in service with the Italian Air Force.>> The 14 reconfigured aircraft will be redelivered in the course of 2009, under a schedule agreed with the Italian Air Force.>> The 14 MB-339CD trainers are being upgraded mainly in their avionics system, improving their identification, communications and positioning systems, adding a digital map system and integrating night vision and embedded simulation capabilities.>> The contract also includes logistics support activities to manage repairs on a selected range of aircraft components, carried out directly at the 61st Wings Lecce base, which introduced the MB-339CD in 1997. Through this support the Italian Air Force intends to optimise the flight potential of the MB-339 fleet, integrating its own logistic resources with those of industry.>> BACKGROUND NOTES:>> 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 syllabus. 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.