The Aermacchi M-345 High Efficiency Trainer (HET) is the latest military pilot trainer aircraft developed by Leonardo's Aircraft Division. Aimed at the basic-advanced phases of the training syllabus, will offer low acquisition and operating costs. As a replacement for the current Italian Air Force MB.339A fleet, it will also re-equip its famous “Frecce Tricolori” aerobatic team.
The M-345 HET philosophy aims to offer the superior performance and training effectiveness typical of jet aircraft at costs comparable to high-powered turboprop trainers. Thanks to its modern avionics, considerable external load-carrying capability and performance, the M-345 HET is also suited for operational roles. Life cycle cost reduction is driven by long fatigue life and two-level maintenance, the latter made possible by replacing the expensive general overhauls with the airframe and systems Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS).
Avionics are based on the latest M-346 Advanced Jet Trainer experience and match the standards of the latest combat jets, including HOTAS controls, Head-Up Displays (HUD), Multi-Function Displays (MFD), the real-time datalink and the Embedded Simulation system aboard the aircraft.
The M-345 HET is powered by a turbofan in the 1,600 kg / 3,500 lbs. maximum thrust range. The airframe is stressed for +7/-3,5 g. Operating efficiency is ensured by single-point pressure refueling and on-board oxygen generation (OBOGS), both of which reduce ground support crews and turnaround times.