First upgraded MB-339CD ready for Italian air force

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The first of 14 Italian air Force Alenia Aermacchi MB-339CD trainers being upgraded to Batch 2 standard has completed flight testing and is ready for delivery to the 212th Flight Group of the 61st Wing based in Galatina, south-east Italy, where it will undergo acceptance trials.

The deliveries will be completed next year. The €41 million ($55 million) upgrade contract is delivering new avionics and simulation capabilities including identification friend or foe, communications, positioning and night vision systems, as well as a digital map, crash data recorder, emergency locator transmitter, new integrated autonomous air combat manoeuvring suite, plus embedded training simulation (including simulated sensors and virtual tactical scenarios).

The 61st Wing is the Italian candidate unit to host the future Advanced European Jet Pilot Training headquarters. Alenia Aermacchi is providing all the MB-339s, including the A version used for advanced training by the 213th Flight Group.