Leonardo proposed its new M-345 basic-advanced jet trainer aircraft to replace Spanish Air Force (SPAF) C101 Aviojet advanced trainers at the International Defence and Security Exhibition (FEINDEF), being held in Madrid on 29–31 May.
The company is touting the M-345, which made its maiden flight on 21 December 2018, as providing “jet performance at turboprop cost”.
The Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare: AM) has ordered five M-345s, which it designates as the T-345A, the first of which is due to be delivered in early 2020. Eduardo Munhos De Campos, Leonardo’s vice-president for product solutions, said on 30 May the AM had a requirement for 45 M-346s to replace its 137 MB-339s, which first entered service in 1982 and are used by the Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team.
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