PARIS, June 20 (UPI) -- The Italian government and aircraft manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi are to collaborate on developing a new trainer aircraft.
The aircraft, the M-345 High Efficiency Trainer, is expected to enter service between 2017 and 2020.
The agreement between the company and the Defense Ministry's Secretariat General of Defense/National Armaments Directorate "calls for the immediate creation of a joint working team between [the two organization] to define the technical specifications of this new aircraft and identify the steps necessary for the preliminary study and its consequent development, taking into account the principles of cost effectiveness and to satisfy the possible requirements of the global market." Alenia Aermacchi said in its announcement at the Paris Air Show.
"The new HET will be a further development of the M-345 jet trainer, the latest solution proposed by Alenia Aermacchi for the basic-advanced phase of military pilot training."
The M-345 HET will feature a turbofan engine, long endurance high load factors, a Head-Up Display, and hands-on throttle-and-stick controls.