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Alenia Aermacchi, EADS tighten pact on M-346

EADS and Finmeccanica have strengthened their relationship in the advanced jet trainer sector and provided limited details of their combined bid for the nine-nation Advanced European Jet Pilot Training (AEJPT) scheme.

Involving EADS Defence and Security (DS) and M-346 manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi, the partnership submitted a joint response to a request for information for the AEJPT requirement on 15 March. The companies signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2009 linked to the project.

© Alenia Aermacchi

"Alenia Aermacchi and DS can offer a comprehensive training solution for future combat aircraft pilots, which meets the expectations of the European Defence Agency and the AEJPT nations," says EADS. This also includes assurances on "training effectiveness, interoperability, geographic allocation and industrial workshare", it adds.

"The companies intend to involve all other European firms from AEJPT member countries in the training service and base operating activities," says EADS, which had for several years promoted its Mako supersonic jet trainer concept (below) for the deal.


Current programme participants include Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Spain and Sweden. A multinational steering group earlier this year outlined hopes to sign contracts for the system in early 2014, with full operational capability to be achieved around 2020.

BAE Systems is also believed to have submitted a response to the request for information, centred on a development of its Hawk 128. The type is now entering use with the UK Royal Air Force.

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