Leonardo’s first M-345 HET (High Efficiency Trainer) production basic/advanced trainer aircraft performed its maiden flight at Venegono Superiore airport (Varese, Italy) today.
The Italian Air Force, the launch customer, has a requirement for up to 45 M-345s to progressively replace 137 aging MB-339s and to become the Italian Air Force’s new aerobatic team airplane. Italy has placed an order of 5 aircraft and the first will be delivered in early 2020, Leonardo said in a statement Friday.
The new M-345 HET (High Efficiency Trainer) will integrate the M-346s used during the advanced training phase of the ITAF pilots. Cockpit architecture is the same as the frontline fighters. The aircraft can perform operational roles at high altitudes, modern avionics systems, high load capacity and performance.
The aircraft has an on-board training simulator and a Health and Monitoring Usage System (HUMS). The aircraft’s Mission Planning and Debriefing Station (MPDS) allows trainees to analyze the missions they have just flown. The M-345’s engine is a Williams FJ44-4M-34 turbofan. The cockpit is based on HOTAS (Hands On Throttle-And-Stick) controls and features a glass cockpit with a three-colour MFD (Multi-function Display) touch screen. The aircraft’s heads-up display is mirrored by a fourth screen in the rear seat, the company stated further.
Leonardo is looking to configure the C-27J to make the aircraft better capable of fire-fighting operations to expand its multirole capabilities. The C-27J fire-fighter has a roll-on/roll-off Fire Attack System (FAS) made by Simplex Aerospace for airborne fire-fighting technology and capability, the company said in a statement Tuesday
Leonardo has won a €180 million ($205 million) contract to supply new electronic warfare training equipment for NATO Joint Electronic Warfare Core Staff (JEWCS). The company will incorporate technology from its partners Cobham and Elettronica
Leonardo has developed an upgrade for the M60A3 main battle tank (MBT). The upgrade has been tested, and it covers battle tank's armour, mobility and firepower and is being marketed as a cost-effective upgrade package, IHS Janes reported Tuesday
The UK Ministry of Defense has awarded Leonardo a £293 million ($379 million) contract to support the existing fleet of 50 Apache AH MK1 Attack Helicopters. The Apache AH MK1 Integrated Operational Support (IOS) contract will maintain the fleet until its out of service date in March 2024, the company said in a statement Thursday
Leonardo DRS has won a $80 million contract to equip the United States Armys M1A2 Sep v2 and Marine Corps M1A1 main battle tanks (MBTs) with additional Trophy active protection systems (APS). This brings the total funded value of the program to over $200 million and will equip several more brigades with Abrams Trophy, the company said in a statement Tuesday
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