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  • PICTURES: Leonardo test fires Sidewinder from M-346

PICTURES: Leonardo test fires Sidewinder from M-346

Leonardo has continued development work on the attack variant of its M-346 trainer, performing a successful test firing of a Raytheon AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missile from the platform.

Conducted at Italy's Salto del Quirra test range off the coast of Sardinia, the firing validates the safe separation of the munition from the aircraft.

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Leonardo says that an initial analysis of the flight-test data shows all systems performed as predicted.

Fired from an underwing pylon, the missile was released at an altitude of 5,000ft and a speed of Mach 0.8.

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The latest round of testing adds to previous qualification efforts for other weapons, such as guided bombs and a gun pod, on the M-346.

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