Alenia Aermacchi M346 Confirmed for Singapore Trainer
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). Boeing is supplying the GBTS, including full mission simulators that use a “revolutionary constant resolution vision system,” according to Mark McGraw, vice president of Boeing Training Systems and Services. This is the first export order for the M346, which competed with the KAI T-50, offered in partnership with Lockheed Martin. The same two aircraft are competing in the UAE, where a selection has been delayed. But the big prize would be a pending USAF requirement to replace hundreds of T-38s. Boeing has said that it is awaiting the USAF’s formal request for proposals before it decides whether to partner again with Alenia on the M346.