AERMACCHI M-346

TYPE: Advanced jet trainer/light attack jet.

PROGRAMME: Announced 25 July 2000. Comprehensively redesigned and westernised version of Yakovlev Yak-130, on which Aermacchi had begun autonomous full-scale development in January 2000. conforming to requirements of Eurotrainer group. Three prototypes as follow-on to 300 trial flights with prototype Yak-130; mockup first shown at Paris, June 2001; maiden flight of P1 scheduled for November 2003, following 7 June 2003 roll-out, with P2 and P3 following at 12 month intervals, and A1 initial production aircraft in January 2007 (preceded by static test and fatigue test airframes to production standard in 2005 and 2006, respectively).
Aermacchi shares design rights and has production and modification rights for the Yak-130. Development of the aircraft was transferred to Italy in mid-1998 to prevent further delays resulting from the economic situation in Russia. Some funding provided by Italian Ministry of Industry. Dott Massimo Luchesini is Aermacchi's AEM/Yak-130 programme director. Italian Air Force expected to certify aircraft and issue service release, although no firm local requirement yet exists.

DESIGN FEATURES: Extends flight envelope of existing jet trainers, notably turn and climb performance and usable AoA (40o). Cockpit based on Eurofighter Typhoon. Chine deleted from forward fuselage. Autonomous operation made possible by self-starting, OBOGS, BITE, APU and use of standard support equipment. Design to MIL-STD-1350A and MIL-A-8660A; maintenance to MIL-STD-470B; technical publications in accordance with applicable MIL-STD. Service life 10,000 hours; extension to 15,000 hours planned. Wing dihedral 1o; tailplane anhedral 4o.

STRUCTURE: Aluminium alloy centre fuselage, wings and fin; reinforced carbon fibre cockpit section and rear fuselage; metalic bonded composites ailerons, flaps, airbrake, rudder and elevons; Kevlar fin fillet, fin root fairings and tailcone; glass fibre nosecone and fintip.

LANDING GEAR: Nosewheel leg by Liebherr. Forward-retracting mainwheel legs from AMX fighter-bomber on first two prototypes; new units thereafter.

POWER PLANT: Two 27.8 kN (6,250 lb st) Honeywell F124-GA-200 twin-shaft turbofans with dual-channel FADEC. Single-point pressure refuelling. Inboard wing pylons 'wet', each with provision for 591 litre (156 US gallon; 130 Imp gallon) tank. Secondo Mona fuel system. Optional (30 min attachment time) refuelling probe.

ACCOMMODATION: Two Martin-Baker Mk 16D zero/zero ejection seats. HOTAS controls.

SYSTEMS: Teleavio/BAE Systems reprogrammable, quadruple-redundant, full authority digital FCS. Honeywell Normelair-Garret environmental control system, providing 100 per cent conditioned air to cockpit, using engine or APU power; 'bootstrap' air cooler, precooler and dual heat exchangers, plus bleed leak detector; nominal cockpit pressure differential 0.25 bar (3.6 lb/sq in); Air Liquide OBOGS. Electrical system, by ASE and Logic, includes 20 kVA generator on each engine (100 per cent redundancy), two 9 kW transformer-rectifiers, one 5 kW 28 V DC emergency generator (Microturbo Rubis APU) and two Ni/Cd batteries. Two dual-redundant digital databusses conforming to MIL-STD-1553B: Avionics 1 for sensors and displays; Avionics 2 for radar, SMS, FLIR, AECM, RWR and HMD. Additional Armament databus to MIL-STD-1760 for weapons stations and SMS. Avionics 1 and 2 control is by mission computer symbol generator (MCSG) with failure back-up from miscellaneous computer (MISCO). Armament bus control by SMS acting as remote terminal of Avionics 2 bus. Air-to-air and air-to-ground attack computations by operational flight program (OFP) software in MCSG, latter also generating HUD symbology. Area navigation and flight director functions performed by embedded GPS inertial unit (EGI) and flight control computers, respectively.
Cockpit video recording provided by colour HUD TV camera, recording outside world with HUD symbology superimposed; associated VTR captures colour and monochrome video signals and is remotely controlled by a dedicated panel. MISCO also responsible for avionics system interface, aural warning generator for voice alert system (VAS), HUMS and gear down/locked confirmation tone. Crash-survivable memory unit (CSMU) interfaced via RS-422 to MISCO and audio system to record data for accident analysis. Two independent hydraulic systems by Microtecnica, both operating at 207 bar (3,000 lb/sq in); No.1 for flight controls. No.2 for utilities. Dowty/Microtecnica control surface actuators.

AVIONICS: Mission core system by Galileo Avionica.
Comms: Two Marconi VHF/UHF transceivers; Marconi IFF transponder. DbSystem intercom.
Radar: Provision in design.
Flight: Honeywell laser gyro INS with embedded GPS; Thales Tacan and Collins VOR/ILS/marker beacon receiver.
Instrumentation: Galileo Avionica raster/stroke HUD; three Galileo Avionica 127 x 127 mm (5 x 5 in) colour LCDs per cockpit; provision for HMD and NVGs. Up-front control panels for management of navigation and weapon delivery, communication, identification and radio navigation, plus optional FLIR. Optional two-screen cockpit prepared for customers who wish to simulate Lockheed Martin F-35 environment.
Mission: Data transfer unit (DTU) for loading of mission plan. Centreline attachment for Vinten Vicon 19 reconnaissance pod, Litening FLIR or ATLIS targeting pod. Cockpit video recorder. Radar and ECM simulation system integrated for advanced training.
Self-defence: Provision for RWR, chaff/flares and underwing Elettronica ELT-555 ECM pod.

ARMAMENT: Nine hardpoints: one on centreline, rated at 600 kg (1,323 lb); four under each wing, rated at 1,050 kg (2,315 lb) (inboard), 550 kg (1,213 lb), 300 kg (661 lb) and 150 kg (331 lb) (wingtip). Optional 30 mm DEFA cannon pod on centreline. Typical weapon loads include six mk 82 (500 lb), four Mk 83 (1,000 lb) or two Mk 84 (2,000 lb) bombs; four GBU-12 (500 lb), GBU-16 (1,000 lb) or Opher Mk 82 guided bombs; six Rockeye or four BL 755 CBUs; six Durandal anti-runway dispensers; four BRD-4 or LAU-7/LAU-5002/LAU-32 rocket pods; four AIM-9 Sidewinder AAMS; four AGM-65 Maverick ASMs; or four Brimstone anti-armour missiles.

 

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