(NSI News Source Info) November 27, 2008: Alenia Aermacchi signed a contract with the Malaysian Ministry of Defence related to the supply of 8 MB-339CM trainer aircraft. Alenia Aermacchi yesterday completed the first flight of the MB-339CM for the Malaysian air force. The hour long mission was flown by Alenia Aermacchi chief test pilot Quirino Bucci and chief flight test engineer Carlo Monti. The test particularly explored the functioning of the new avionics. The “CM” has a HUD and three multi-function displays in both the front and rear cockpits. The avionics provides embedded simulation capabilities, digital maps, and is compatible for use with night vision goggles. The communications system is also upgraded and an Autonomous Air Combat Maneuvering Instrumentation pod and other features are part of the package, according to Aermacchi. An air-refuelling probe also is included. Malaysian pilots are due to start flying the aircraft come January, with the first two aircraft to be handed over by April and six more before the end of next year.
First Aermacchi MB-339CM for Malaysian Air Force Takes to the Air (Source: Alenia Aermacchi; issued November. 27, 2008) VENEGONO, Italy --- 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 derived from the current MB-339CD variant of the widely used two-seat, aerobatic, single-engine aircraft for the Advanced and Lead-In-Fighter Training phases of the military pilot training syllabus. With its performance, excellent handling and sophisticated systems, the MB-339CD is one of the most successful members of the Alenia Aermacchi training aircraft family. 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 (ELT).