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
I think the Locheed/Korean T-50 has the inside track to get the T-38 Talon replacement contract with the USAF
M-346 has “relatives”:
– almost the same Russian Yak-130 (Як-130)
– more advanced supersonic Chinese L-15 http://spotavia.blogspot.com/2012/02/l-15.html
I agree, I also think the F-15SE will win the the Korean F-X phase 3
program as well.