Italy orders Aermacchi M-345 trainer aircraft
A contract announced on 13 January will see Leonardo deliver an initial batch of five Aermacchi M-345 trainer aircraft to the Italian Ministry of Defence.
The M-345 will progressively replace the 137 in-service MB-339 aircraft which entered into operation with the Italian Air Force in the 1980s. It will operate alongside the fleet of 18 twin-engine Aermacchi M-346s already ordered and currently used by the air force for the advanced phase of pilot training.
The first aircraft delivery is expected by 2019; the air force’s total requirement is for around 45 M-345s.
Also announced on 13 January was a contract for the first phase of development and delivery programme of the new exploration and escort helicopter for the Italian Army. The two contracts combined are valued at in excess of €500 million.
Mauro Moretti, chief executive officer and general manager of Leonardo, said: ‘The signing of these two contracts is the result of constructive discussions between the Italian government and industry, which helped identify the requirements and the best technological answers.
‘Thanks to this joint understanding, we’ll be able to deliver advanced solutions to our national customer by optimising available financial resources and developing new technologies, skills and industrial processes in our country.’
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