Leonardo has been awarded EUR300 million (USD339 million) to deliver a further 13 Alenia M-345 High Efficiency Trainer (HET) aircraft to the Italian Air Force (Aeronautica Militare Italiana: AMI).
The contract, announced on 13 June, adds to the five aircraft previously ordered under plans to replace the AMI's current 137 MB-339s and augment its 18 M-346s. Deliveries of the first five M-345s are due to begin in early 2020, while the AMI retains a total requirement for 45 M-345 HET aircraft.
First revealed in 2013, the M-345 HET is a development of the baseline M-345 jet trainer, which was a redesignation of the Aermacchi M-311 (an upgrade of the Aermacchi S-211 jet trainer). Company specifications give the M-345 HET a top speed of 420 kt at 20,000 ft; a stall speed of 88 kt; a rate of climb of 5,200 ft/min; a service ceiling of 40,000 ft; a sustained load factor of +4 g ; a fuel consumption (average) of 380 litre/h; a maximum range of 760 n miles (1,407 km) (clean) or 1,000 n miles (with external tanks); an endurance of 2.75 hours (clean) or 3.85 hours (external tanks); and a take-off run-and-landing roll of 520 m.
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