Fighter Aircraft Completes First Flight

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The operational version of the M-346 Fighter Attack (M-346FA) has completed its first flight with Grifo radar. The M-346FA is designed as a light attack variant from the M-346 Light Fighter Family of Aircraft (LFFA). The aircraft can be used for training, as well as for combat missions. The aircraft manufactured by Leonardo featured the mechanically scanning, multi-mode Grifo-M-346 radar, specifically designed by the company for this fighter.

The fighter aircraft is also equipped with a complete Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS) and a network-centric communications suite with secure communications system and tactical data link for interoperability.

The M-346FA offers all of the advanced training capabilities of the core M-346 while also integrating latest generation sensors and equipment, allowing it to operate as an effective light attack aircraft, according to the company.

It can carry GPS-guided / laser / unguided air-to-air and air-surface weapons, bombs, and targeting pods. Additionally, the operator may equip the fighter jet with a gun pod and reconnaissance sensors based on operational requirements.

The training variant of M-346FA allows the pilots to upskill themselves on a wide range of tactical scenarios. Currently, the trainer version is used by the air forces of Italy, Singapore, Israel and Poland, according to airforce-technology.com.