Leonardo’s new M-345 trainer has received initiation certification from the DAAA (Directorate for Air Armaments and Airworthiness), the certification authority of the Italian Ministry of Defence.

The trainer is close to entering into service with the Italian Air Force and Italian Airforce acrobatic team Frecce Tricolori. The aircraft is capable of providing jet trainer aircraft-like performance and efficiency at the cost of a turboprop.

The initial certification of the M-345 is the result of in-flight and on-ground test activities – which total almost 200 flights, carried out in collaboration with the Italian Air Force. The certification has assessed aircraft and equipment compliance with stringent performance and safety standards.

The two hundred dedicated flights have been logged alongside the critical support of the Italian Air Force’s Flight Test Centre, 61st Wing and 10th Aircraft Maintenance Unit.

Aircraft serves dual roles

Eduardo Munhos said the M-345 had been designed to fulfil a number of purposes: “The M-345 can be also an aeroplane that can do the dual role activity being also a light fighter aeroplane. So the aeroplane can deliver services for very sophisticated Air Forces and also very basic requirements for some air forces. So we see a big potential for markets like Africa, South America, Far East.”

The Initial Certification of the M-345 marks the first case of enforcement of the new AER (EP) P-21 rule for a fixed-wing aircraft. This rule adopts the European EMAR-21 – European Military Airworthiness Requirements  – a stringent international certification requirement that will also be beneficial to the export of the aircraft.

Eduardo Munhos added: “We are very honoured to have our planes flying with Frecce Tricolori. It is the Italian flag flying all over the world, showing our product with Italian flag. It’s a combination of technical aspects is the aeroplane itself the machine itself, but a lot of training, what we demonstrate already this aeroplane is capable to do the job. From the machine point of view from performance in flying qualities, the aeroplane can do the job.”

M-345 provides Air Force with operating cost reduction

The M-345 provides the Air Force with a significant improvement in training effectiveness greater efficiency and a strong operating cost reduction. The new aircraft, designed to meet basic and basic/advanced training needs, will complement the M-346s used for the advanced phase of pilot training and, in the framework of the “International Flight Training School” project, will support the reinforcement and internationalisation of the training offer launched by Leonardo in partnership with the Italian Air Force.

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