Taken at Decimomannu airbase last week, the following picture shows an M-346 “Master” advanced combat trainer with two dummy AIM-9L Sidewinder air-to-air missiles at the wing tip launchers.
Serialled CP X617, the first IPA (Initial Production Aircraft) is involved in a testing campaign which follows the one conducted last April at Decimomannu airbase when the aircraft flew with BRD (Bombs and Rocket Dispencer) for Mk-106s thin-cased cylindrical bombs used to simulate the high-drag (retarded) Mk-82 Snakeye bombs.
The M-346 has been selected by the Italian Air Force, the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Israeli Air Force that will use the “Master” to replace the A-4 Skyhawks.
[Read also: Here’s the M-346 in Israeli Air Force colors]
Image credit: Gianni Maduli