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Paris 2017: Leonardo presents M-346FA
M-346 FA © Leonardo

Paris 2017: Leonardo presents M-346FA

Leonardo is displaying the M-346FA (Fighter Attack) aircraft at Le Bourget, the latest addition to the M-346 family.

Leonardo is showing for the first time at Le Bourget the new fighter attack version of the M-346, the latest addition to a family that already includes the the Advanced Jet Trainer and the multi-role M-346FT (Fighter Trainer).

The M-346 Fighter Attack will be equipped with a dedicated variant of the Grifo multi-mode fire control radar, designed and manufactured by Leonardo.

Leonardo has already carried out the studies for the FA’s radar installation and its mechanical integration with the aircraft.

The M-346FA is designed as an advanced trainer and light fighter aircraft capable of carrying out operational missions at lower costs than front-line fighters. Leonardo says that several air forces have already expressed their interest in it.

With seven pylons for external loads, the M-346FA will retain the capabilities of the M-346 family in the advanced and pre-operational training roles, but will also be able to operate as a multi-role tactical aircraft, capable of air-to-surface, air-to-air and tactical reconnaissance missions.

The Grifo-346 multi-mode radar will be able to track up to 10 targets simultaneously in Track-While-Scan (TWS) mode, will have a maximum range beyond 50 NM (92 km) in the Look-Up mode and a sub-metric resolution in the Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) mode.

In terms of external payload, the M-346 FA will be able to carry 630-litre auxiliary fuel tanks, 500 lb Mk 82 bombs, laser guided bombs, GPS guided JDAMs, short range air-to-surface missiles like the MBDA Brimstone and anti-ship missiles like the MBDA Marte ER.

In addition, the aircraft will be able to employ Air-to-Air, infra-red guided missiles (such as the AIM-9L/X Sidewinder and the IRIS-T), launchers for unguided rockets and a gun pod. The M- 346FA will be able to carry over 2,000 kg of external payload.

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