Italy has placed a follow-on order worth €300 million ($336 million) for an additional nine Aermacchi M-346 advanced jet trainers.
The deal doubles the number of Honeywell F124-powered aircraft ordered for the Italian air force, which uses the designation T-346A. Delivery of the new trainers is to begin this year and will be complete by 2018.
The contract also includes logistics support and a further, unspecified development effort for a wider integrated training system. The latter includes the digital training aids and simulators located at Lecce-Galatina air base.
A total of 68 M-346s have now been ordered by four nations: Italy (18), Israel (30), Poland (8) and Singapore (12).