The T-100 is more than just an aircraft. It’s a turnkey solution for the U.S. Air Force’s T-X program.
With the T-100, the next generation of fighter pilots will practice on the world’s most advanced customer-proven integrated training system. It also features twin engines for added pilot safety. And, unlike the competition, the T-100 has the most up-to-date cockpit-embedded tactical training system that integrates with multiple aircraft and ground-based training devices to add realism while keeping cost down.
The Aermacchi M-346 is the most advanced/lead-in fighter trainer aircraft currently produced and the only new-generation trainer optimized for the role of training pilots who fly on latest-generation high-performance military planes.
Thanks to its advanced technical design solutions and to the adoption of the latest “design-to-cost” and “design-to-maintain” concepts, the M-346 provides reduced acquisition and operational costs. Furthermore, the reduced number of hours necessary for its maintenance make the aircraft excellent for cost-effectiveness.
The M-346 features innovative design solutions: it is an aircraft with full authority quadruplex Fly-by-Wire control system that, thanks to the optimization of the aerodynamic configuration, allows the aircraft to remain fully controllable at angles of attack of over 30 degrees. This, combined with the twin-engine configuration, the duplication and redundancy of the electric and hydraulic systems, the choice of state-of-the-art equipment, makes the M-346 the most modern pre-operational tactical training aircraft in the world.
The M-346 Integrated Training System (ITS) includes, together with the aircraft, an exhaustive Ground Based Training System (GBTS), enabling the student pilot to learn and rehearse the entire aircraft syllabus and all training objectives on the ground, before replicating them in flight, implementing the downloading concept and the consequent overall and significant cost saving to fully train “fast jet” military pilots.
A core element of the ITS is the Live-Virtual-Constructive (LVC), linking simulators to live sorties, allowing pilots flying a training device on the ground to be linked with those flying on real aircraft. It allows student pilots to add complexity to training exercises, while reducing the risks and costs associated with the requirement to fly several aircraft during training missions.
The GBTS includes the following assets: Academic Training System in classroom; Synthetic Training Devices with different degrees of complexity (Simulation-Based Training; Flight Training Device and Full Mission Simulator). A Mission Support System, central element of configuration and data distribution with the aircraft and GBTS, and a Training Management Information System, allowing a complex management of the Integrated Training System, are also available.
The dedicated Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) has been developed to guarantee high aircraft availability and high mission rates.
While keeping the excellent advanced Lead-In Fighter Trainer capabilities and high performances, the new version M-346FT is also a very efficient and reliable combat multirole aircraft. The M-346FT is a versatile platform, adapt at both air-to-ground (CAS - Close Air Support / COIN - COunter INsurgency) and air-to-air (Homeland Defense / Security, Air Policing).
Amongst the characteristics which make the M-346FT an effective combat platform are:
A design architecture that allows the integration of:
An aerodynamic configuration that allows the integration of an extensive variety of weapons and external stores including (five external hardpoints):
Since the acquisition by the Italian Air Force in 2009, the M-346 has been selected by some of the most demanding Air Forces in the world through providing first class training and operational capabilities and minimizing operating costs.