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PICTURE: Alenia Aermacchi delivers Italy's second T-346A trainer

Alenia Aermacchi has delivered its second T-346A advanced jet trainer to the Italian air force's experimental flying wing at Pratica di Mare air base.

Pictured leaving the manufacturer's Venegono production site on 6 February, the M-346 variant follows a first example which was handed over in late 2011.

Following the completion of operational evaluation activities at Pratica di Mare, the two T-346As will be flown to Lecce air base, where they will enter operational use. Another four aircraft will follow under the terms of a 2009 launch order worth €220 million ($289 million). The deal also includes the provision of support services and a package of ground-based training equipment.


© Alenia Aermacchi

Italy is the launch customer for the M-346, 12 of which are also on order for delivery to the Republic of Singapore Air Force from later this year.

Separately, Alenia Aermacchi has detailed its progress on testing a new helmet-mounted display (HMD) system for the M-346. A series of seven flight tests performed last December, using the Italian air force's third production aircraft, delivered "very positive results", including with night-vision goggles installed, it said.

"The successful integration of the HMD system in the M-346 gives the green light for the imminent production deliveries of the systems to the Italian air force, as part of the T-346A full trainer configuration suite," the company said.

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