Aircraft M-346 was designed as a training, but thanks to the successful design will also be produced in the modification of the light fighter.
The test launch of the AIM-9L Sidewinder rocket with the M-346FA took place at the Salto di Quirra test site on the island of Sardinia. The rocket separated from the aircraft at an altitude of 1500 m and speed 1000 km / h. In Leonardo indicate that the launch was in accordance with the forecasts and is considered successful. Earlier on M-346FA bombs dropped and fired from a suspended gun.
The Leonardo company declares that the M-346FA can be used as an aircraft for training combat pilots aviationas well as a light fighter or reconnaissance aircraft. The aircraft is equipped with a multi-mode Grifo radar, electronic warfare system, reconnaissance module, as well as seven points for the installation of air-to-air and air-to-ground weapons with a total mass of up to 2 tons. The developers call the M-346FA the ideal solution for countries that need inexpensive combat aircraft with low cost of operation.
Training aircraft M-346 was designed by the Russian JSC "Experimental Design Bureau named. A. S. Yakovlev, together with the Italian company L'Alenia Aermacchi. Due to disagreements between the partners, the development of the model ceased at the final stage, and each of the companies received documentation of the basic version of the future aircraft (glider). After that, both companies released their own models: M-346 (L'Alenia Aermacchi) and Yak-130 (Yakovlev Design Bureau). The first flight of the M-346 took place on July 15 of the year 2004, and its mass production began in the year 2010. Today, the machine is used to train pilots in Italy, Singapore, Israel and Poland. The length of the M-346 is 11,5 m, the wingspan is 9,7 m. The mass of the empty aircraft is 4,6 t, the maximum take-off weight is 9,5 t. The machine is capable of reaching speeds up to 1060 km. The crew of the M-13,7 consists of two people.