Italian M346 becomes American T-100

Alenia North America is quietly previewing a new marketing blitz to bolster the M346 Master’s bid to replace the Northrop T-38 Talon as the US Air Force’s next advanced jet trainer.

The online campaign, rolled out on Alenia NA’s web site earlier this week, rebrands the Italian M346 as the “T-100 integrated training system (ITS)“.

Although EADS North America is chasing the KC-X contract as a prime contractor, Alenia NA is actively seeking US partners to front its bid for the emerging T-X contract, which would replace about 450 T-38s with about 350 new aircraft and dozens of simulators.

The T-100 brand is an interesting choice. Alenia’s primary competitor for T-X so far is the Lockheed Martin/KAI T-50 Golden Eagle. Perhaps by subtle implication, Alenia aims to show branding superiority in a T-100 versus T-50 competition. Or maybe it’s just a nice, round number.

I’ll assume that rebranding the M346 as the T-130, as an homage to the original Yakovlev project that spawned the Italian trainer, was swiftly ruled out.

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7 Responses to Italian M346 becomes American T-100

  1. Mike Z 20 May, 2010 at 5:57 pm #

    I never cease to be amused that there’s a good possibility that the USAF’s trainer may be a derivative of a trainer that originated as a Soviet RFP. My, how our world has changed!

  2. Stephen Trimble 20 May, 2010 at 7:38 pm #

    I’m in the process of reporting a feature article on this topic. I can tell you that I don’t expect to see an Alenia/Boeing team offering the T-100 for the T-X contract. Boeing seems to have its own ideas, which may or may not involve the Hawk. The announcement you reference is for non-US contracts only.

  3. Dave 20 May, 2010 at 8:02 pm #

    I would have gone with T-1000 myself… Overall for the trainer requirement, I prefer the T-50.

  4. Craig Hoyle 21 May, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    Erm, the “T-100 Integrated Training System” – wouldn’t that leave the acronym as T-ITS? I’m not really sure that I see this product making it to USAF service.

  5. metin2 yang 15 July, 2010 at 3:39 pm #

    Excellent read, I just passed this onto a colleague who was doing a little homework on that. And he in fact bought me lunch because I found it for him

  6. flyff penya 17 July, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

    Well, the post is actually the freshest on this laudable topic. I concur with your conclusions and will thirstily look forward to your future updates.

  7. Leo 13 September, 2011 at 7:35 am #

    LOL. What about JSF based on a technology from that same Soviet company?
    Browse Yak-141 in youtube. A Soviet VTOL supersonic carrier-based fighter cancelled some 20 years ago.
    F-35 is 95% following the Yak concept.

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