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Today, Leonardo has shown its new fighter attack version of the M-346 for the first time at Paris Air Show 2017: M-346FA (Fighter Attack). A further evolution of a family concept designed to create a common baseline, it is able to answer different air forces requirements very quickly, according to the Italian company.

The M-346FA will be equipped with a dedicated variant of the GRIFO multi-mode fire control radar, designed and manufactured by Leonardo. This new version of the M-346 will take its place next to the two existing variants of the aircraft: The Advanced Jet Trainer and the Multi-Role M-346FT (Fighter Trainer).

Leonardo has already carried out the studies for the FA’s radar installation and its mechanical integration with the aircraft and stated at the press conference today that the aircraft will be flying the radar by end 2018/early 2019. 

Furthermore, according to the company, the M345 has two new undisclosed international customers. 

With seven pylons for external loads, the M-346FA will retain the capabilities of the M-346 family in the advanced and pre-operational training roles, and will also be able to operate very effectively as multi-role tactical aircraft, capable of air-to-surface, air-to-air and tactical reconnaissance missions. The integration of the multi-mode GRIFO radar will provide the M- 346FA with great versatility and effectiveness, thanks to the availability of many specialised radar modes both Air-to-Air and Air-to-Surface.

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