05 April 2012
Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master (photo : 9abc)
Italy's Alenia Aermacchi S.p.A. is offering the Department of National Defense four to six units of its €20-million apiece M-346 surface attack plane, the firm’s local partner, Aerotech Industries told GMA News Online.
Aerotech Industries chief operating officer Tess Parian said the P1.14 billion price tag on each M-346 “could still change depending on the requirements or specifications the Philippine Air Force may provide later.”
The four-to-six-unit package would cost about P4.58 billion to P6.87 billion at the current exchange rate of P57.28:€1.
Parian said their likely competitor for the supply contract is the Korea Aerospace Industries—maker of the T-50—which Alenia Aermacchi was up against in supply contract biddings in other countries.
Last year, Alenia Aermacchi delivered 18 new SF260FH basic trainers to the PAF.
The trainer planes are now based at the Fenando Airbase in Lipa, Batangas, home to the PAF Air Education and Traning Command.
Parian said Singapore and the United Arab Emirates chose the M-346 for their respective air forces. Singapore got 12 units of the MB-346 and the United Arab Emirates has a tender for 48 units.
“The twin-turbofan M-346 is the most advanced lead-in fighter trainer flying today,” Alenia Aermacchi said on its website.
“With its fully digital flight controls and avionics, together with carefree handling and high AOA maneuvering, the M-346 is fully representative of new generation fighters,” Alena Aermacchi also said.
“... The M-346 is today the only aircraft designed to meet the training needs of pilots of 4th and 5th generation combat aircraft,” it added.
Alenia Aermacchi is part of the Finmeccanica Group and has production facilities in Italy’s Venegono Superiore province. Its production area is 274,000 sqm, accomodating its 1,800 personnel.