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.
Indonesia has provisionally selected the KAI T-50 Golden Eagle as a new jet trainer, and will buy 16, according to the Chosunilbo newspaper in Seoul. The paper said that Korea Aerospace Industries “slashed the price of the T-50 to less than $25 million per jet” to head off competition from the Russian Yak-130.
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).
India signed a contract for 57 more BAE Hawk Advanced Jet Trainers (AJTs), all to be manufactured under license at the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd. (HAL) factory in Bangalore. A previous contract provided 24 Hawk AJTs from the BAE Systems production line in the UK, six more in kit form for assembly by HAL, and 36 to be license-built.
German aircraft manufacturer Grob Aircraft and Elbit Systems, the Israeli specialist in electronic defense, have signed several agreements to partner in the development of a new family of trainer aircraft called the G-120TP. The aircraft will be based on a modular concept, which will result in one aircraft in three different configurations: side-by-side, tandem-seat and a four-seat models.
The first courses to be provided under the UK’s new military flying training systems (MFTS) are to begin in less than a year when Royal Navy observers start training next May. Later that year, advanced jet training with new BAE Systems Hawks is to begin, and air crew destined for that training are already preparing on the first of six flight training devices installed at the Royal Air Force’s Valley base.
Atlantic Inertial Systems (AIS), part of Goodrich Corp., is the provider of the Terprom terrain-referenced navigation system that is installed in many combat aircraft, such as the F-16 and Typhoon, and increasingly in military transports such as the C-17 and C-130.
Northrop’s venerable T-38 Talon supersonic trainer entered service with the U.S. Air Force in March 1961 and has provided the advanced portion of the service’s training syllabus ever since. Over 1,100 were delivered and more than 450 remain in service.
Grob Aircraft is developing a turboprop version of its G115/G120 series of primary trainers. Elbit Systems of Israel has joined the Austrian company in a joint venture for the G120TP, which has already flown. The new version is designed to meet India's urgent requirement for 175 basic trainers.