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Alenia, Italian MOD to launch new jet trainer

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M-345 HET (High Efficiency Trainer). Photo: Alenia Aermacchi.

PARIS (BNS): Alenia Aermacchi and the Secretariat General of Defence/National Armaments Directorate of the Italian Ministry of Defence have signed an agreement to jointly define the operational specifications and collaborate on the development of a new basic-advanced trainer, the M-345 HET (High Efficiency Trainer).

The jet trainer is expected to enter service in 2017-2020.

The new HET will be a further development of the M-345 jet trainer, the latest solution proposed by Alenia Aermacchi for the basic-advanced phase of military pilot training, according to a statement issued by

Alenia Aermacchi.

The agreement calls for the immediate creation of a joint working team between the Defence and industry to define the technical specifications of this new aircraft and identify the steps necessary for the preliminary study and its consequent development, taking into account the principles of cost effectiveness and to satisfy the possible requirements of the global market.

The avionics system of the M-345 HET, through a significant containment of acquisition and operation costs, aims to offer a cheaper and more effective solution in the training of military pilots compared with the current advanced turboprop solutions which, although sharing the same weight class of the M-345 HET and similar on-board equipment, provide only limited performance and training effectiveness.

The M-345 HET will be equipped with a turbofan engine in the 1.600 kg (3,500 lb) thrust class and will offer long endurance and high load factors between +7/-3.5 g.

The trainer will feature state-of-the-art avionics, including a HUD (Head-Up Display) in the front cockpit and a repeater in the rear cockpit and multi-function digital displays for both pilot stations and HOTAS (Hands On Throttle-And-Stick) controls.

The introduction of the pressure refueling system and of an OBOGS (On-Board Oxygen Generating System) will significantly reduce the quantity of personnel required for aircraft ground operations, thus reducing the interval time between flights and making the M-345 HET even more advantageous under the management profile, the news release added.

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