KUALA LUMPUR: The press release from Aermacchi is self explanatory. Looks like we are getting another batch of trainers next year. It appears that we decided to pay for a new avionics suite for these planes like the rest of the planes, ships and tanks we purchased over years. No wonder the manufacturers love us…
“First Aermacchi MB-339CM for Malaysian Air Force takes to the air
The first MB-339CM advanced trainer for the Malaysian Air Force made a successful first flight on 25 November from the Alenia Aermacchi facilities at Venegono airport.
The flight, carried out by Alenia Aermacchi Chief Test Pilot Quirino Bucci with Chief Flight Test Engineer Carlo Monti, lasted about one hour and entailed the functional check of all on-board systems and particularly of the new avionics.
The first flight marks an important MB-339CM program goal. In January 2009 the Malaysian pilot training activities which are slated to begin at Alenia Aermacchi will proceed and the delivery of the first two aircraft is scheduled for the first quarter of 2009.
The six remaining aircraft will all be delivered by the end of the next year, thus fulfilling the contract for the supply of eight MB-339CM advanced trainers signed in late 2006 by Alenia Aermacchi, a Finmeccanica company, with the Malaysian Ministry of Defence.
In addition to the aircraft, the deal covers the provision of spare parts, ground equipment and related services.
The Royal Malaysian Air Force has been operating the MB-339A for over 20 years. Its selection of the MB-339CM confirms its confidence in the Alenia Aermacchi ability to once again provide it with a trainer with state of the art quality standards and levels of effectiveness.
“The MB-339CM is equipped with state-of-the-art avionics with a human-machine interface that includes a
HUD (Head-Up Display) and three MFD (Multi Functional Displays) in both the front and rear cockpits, as well as software to simulate complex operational scenarios.
The aircraft features an air-refuelling probe, which makes it even more representative of most modern fighters, and enhanced training and operational capabilities. This version adds further training and operational capabilities, integrating new functions in its avionics system.
These include embedded simulation, digital maps, compatibility with night vision goggles, new radio and IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) systems, a new integrated AACMI (Autonomous Air Combat
Manoeuvring Instrumentation) pod as well as modern safety equipment such as the Crash Data Recorder
and Emergency Locator Transmitter”