FARNBOROUGH: Singapore’s first M-346 ready for flight debut

Farnborough
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Alenia Aermacchi was expecting to perform the first flight of an M-346 advanced jet trainer for launch export buyer Singapore on 9 July.

Speaking at the Farnborough air show, head of integrated training systems Emanuele Merlo says the company is on schedule to deliver its first two trainers and two full mission simulators to the Republic of Singapore Air Force before the end of this year.

Another two aircraft will follow before the contracted service delivery date in 2013, he adds. Singapore has 12 M-346s on order as replacements for its Douglas A-4 Skyhawks.

The company has, meanwhile, also completed all six T-346As under a first order for the Italian air force. Two have been delivered to support initial operational test and evaluation work at Lecce air base, which Merlo says has been extended beyond a planned six-month duration.

"The other four will be delivered after the completion of initial operational testing and any requested improvements," Merlo says.