Singapore Signs To Buy 12 M-346 Trainers For 250 Million Euros
Italy’s Finmeccanica has been awarded a 250 million euro contract by Singapore to supply 12 M-346 jet trainers built by its unit Alenia Aermacchi, the firm announced Sept. 28.
Finmeccanica, teamed with prime contractor ST Aerospace and Boeing, expects to deliver the first aircraft in 2012.
“Successively, together with ST Aerospace, Alenia Aermacchi will make a contribution to ITS (Integrated Training System) activities and to supporting the fleet,” Finmeccanica said in a statement. Finmeccanica CEO Pierfrancesco Guarguaglini said the contract proved “The international supremacy of this aircraft.”
In July Finmeccanica confirmed that the aircraft had been selected by Singapore over the T-50 built by Korea’s KAI.
The speed of the signing contrasts with negotiations to sell the M-346 to the UAE. The aircraft was selected by the Gulf state in early 2009, beating off competition from the T-50, but a firm order has yet to be made. The Italian Air Force has meanwhile ordered six M-346 trainers with the aim of acquiring a total of 15.
Finmeccanica has also teamed with EADS to pitch the aircraft for Europe’s multi-nation Advanced European Jet Pilot Training (AEJPT) program and is set to compete with the T-50 again to supply the U.S. Air Force with a new trainer, a battle which will see BAE System’s as a third competitor.