Selex Galileo has added new modes to the long-selling Grifo fire control radar and has also designed a pod-mounted version. Angelo Aprile, the company’s head of capability in Italy, told the Military Flight Training conference in London organized by Defence IQ that more than 450 “advanced but affordable” Grifo systems have been sold worldwide. Applications include the F-5E/F, Mirage III, L-159, F-7 (Chinese-built MiG-21bis) and Sikorsky HH-60 helicopter.
Italy is the latest country to offer to pool or share military pilot training with other air forces. “We have many years of experience, and were the first to introduce the practice of ‘downloading’ training from more expensive platforms,” said Col Luca Capasso, deputy chief of the T-346 program office. Alenia Aermacchi has provided the new Italian training system as a package that includes the new T-346 advanced jet trainer and all the ground-based training. The contract was signed in late 2009.
SuperJet International announced on February 28 that its board of directors has appointed Nazario Cauceglia new CEO of the company, a joint venture between Finmeccanica subsidiary Alenia Aermacchi (51 percent) and Sukhoi Holding (49 percent).
The Israeli Air Force (IAF) has selected the Alenia Aermacchi M346 as its new advanced jet trainer, in preference to the Korean Aircraft Industries (KAI) T-50. A joint venture between IAI and Elbit will acquire some 30 aircraft and provide training courses to the IAF under contract.
The first M-346 advanced trainer for the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) is on schedule to be delivered by the end of the year, according to manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi (Booth J39), which is currently producing the first batch.
The Italian Air Force accepted the first of six Alenia Aermacchi M346 advanced jet trainers. A second aircraft will follow shortly, and the pair will be flight-tested further by the air force at Pratica di Mare airbase.
Alenia Aermacchi flew the first production M-346 on March 31. It is the first of 15 aircraft ordered by the Italian Air Force, which has designated the new jet trainer T-346A. The Italian manufacturer said that a highly automated production line capable of delivering up to 48 aircraft per year was now established at Venegono.
Former Alenia executive Carlo Logli (senior vice president of strategies and business development) replaced Alessandro Franzoni as CEO of Superjet International as part of a management shakeup that saw Franzoni move to Alenia Aermacchi to become its chief operating officer. Meanwhile, Alenia Aermacchi CEO Carmelo Cosentino replaced Amedeo Caporaletti as Superjet International’s chairman of the board.
Singapore last week confirmed its choice of the Alenia Aermacchi M346 advanced jet trainer to replace the aging TA-4S Skyhawks its air force operates. Deliveries will begin in 2012. Prime contractor ST Aerospace will manage the $412 million deal to supply 12 aircraft plus spares, and a ground-based training system (GBTS).
Alenia Aermacchi is stepping up the pace on the production line for its new
M-346 Master jet trainer at the Venegono Superiore factory in northern Italy, while also attempting to leap forward in manufacturing efficiency. Its aim is to initially produce up to 24 of the aircraft per year in a way that reduces unit costs and allows for an eventual increase in annual output to 40.