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.

M-346 Sidewinder


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.

M-346 Sidewinder 2


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.

Source: FlightGlobal.com