Italy’s Finmeccanica (Stands 06-A03 and B-005) has been a long-standing partner of the UAE Armed Forces, having had a presence in the nation for more than 40 years, and it is exhibiting many of its products here at IDEX 2015. The company now has a UAE corporate headquarters in Abu Dhabi.
The UAE was an early customer for the Aermacchi MB.326 and MB.339 jet trainers and for the piston- engined SIAI Marchetti SF.260 basic trainer. Before the amalgamation of the UAE’s separate air arms to form the UAE Air Force and Air Defence in 1999, the Dubai Defence Force Air Wing operated a single Alenia G.222 transport.
Alenia and Aermacchi themselves merged on 1 January 2012, becoming the Alenia Aermacchi division of Finmeccanica. The company is exhibiting a number of aircraft in model form, including the MC-27J, the MB.339 (which is used by the UAE’s ‘Al Fursan’ national aerobatic display team), and the M-346 Master – which was selected to meet the UAE Air Force and Air Defence advanced trainer requirement in 2009, but has still not been ordered.
The new M-345 HET (High Efficiency Trainer) is also being shown.
The M-345 is a derivative of the M-311 (itself derived from the SIAI Marchetti S.211/Aermacchi S-211), powered by a Williams International FJ44-4M turbofan.
Finmeccanica’s helicopter arm, AgustaWestland, is showing off the AW139 in search and rescue configuration, and the derived new generation AW169 in emergency medical service configuration.
The dedicated military AW101, AW149 and AW159 Lynx Wildcat are also being displayed.