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Azerbaijan to buy M-346 Master jet

23 February 2020
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Azerbaijan is to buy an undisclosed number of Leonardo M-346 Master trainer and light attack aircraft, according to a ‘declaration by agreement’ signed on 20 February. Source: Leonardo

Azerbaijan is to buy an undisclosed number of Leonardo M-346 Master trainer and light attack aircraft, the country's president announced on 20 February.

Azerbaijani Defense Minister Zakir Hasanov and Leonardo Executive Director Alessandro Profumo exchanged a 'declaration by agreement' between the Ministry of Defence (MoD) of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Leonardo for the acquisition of "an integration system for M-346 aircraft", the website for the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, announced.

No details pertaining to a contract value or delivery timelines were disclosed.

In May 2017 Leonardo showcased its Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master trainer aircraft to top Azeri military officials.

The Azerbaijan Air Force (AzAF) and Air Defence Force is known to have a pressing requirement to augment and replace its Soviet-era MiG-29 'Fulcrum', Sukhoi Su-25 'Frogfoot', and Aero Vodochody L-39 jets.

The M-346 is an advanced jet trainer that comes fitted with nine hardpoints (four under each wing and one on the centreline for an optional cannon pod), the M-346 can carry a range of 'dumb' and 'smart' munitions, such as Mk 82/83/84 unguided bombs and GBU-12/16 and Opher Mk 82 guided bombs.

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