Italian Air Force Confirmed the M-345 HET Acquisition
On March 18, 2016 Aeronautica Militare Italiana ( Italian Air Force) and Alenia Aermacchi annoucned to the press the intention to close the contract for the acquisiiton of the M-345 HET (High Efficiency Trainer). The aircraft will be used for the initial basic jet trainer at the 61th Stormo of the Lecce-Galatina. The Alenia Aermacchi M-345 High Efficiency Trainer (HET) is the latest military pilot trainer aircraft. Aimed at the basic-advanced phases of the training syllabus, the design was launched officially in June 2013 and will offer low acquisition and operating costs. As a replacement for the current Italian Air Force MB.339A fleet, it will also re-equip its famous “Frecce Tricolori” aerobatic team. It is based on the earlier S-211, with the addition of both structural and equipment improvements. The airframe has been strengthened, and a glass cockpit and modern avionics have been added. As a basic trainer, the aircraft is designed to complement the Aermacchi M-346 advanced trainer. The aircraft was designed with a secondary close air support capability with five underwing hardpoints.