Military Embedded Systems

Multimode radar gets initial flight on Leonardo M-346 fighter aircraft trainer

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July 24, 2020

Lisa Daigle

Assistant Managing Editor

Military Embedded Systems

Multimode radar gets initial flight on Leonardo M-346 fighter aircraft trainer
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ROME. The operational version of the Leonardo M-346 Fighter Attack aircraft equipped with an optimized variant of Leonardo’s Grifo radar recently completed a successful initial flight, the company reports.

The M-346FA -- described by the company as the new light attack variant from the Leonardo M-346 Light Fighter Family of Aircraft (LFFA) -- uses as its primary sensor the Leonardo mechanical scan, multimode Grifo-M-346 radar. The aircraft also uses a complete Defensive Aids Sub-System (DASS) and a high-end, network-centric communications suite that employs a Secure Communications system and Tactical Data Link to ensure interoperability. The platform can also use LINK-16 in order to interoperate with NATO forces.

The M-346FA can call on an extensive range of air-to-air and air-to-ground weaponry (including IR guided, radar and/or laser/GPS) and can be fitted with a gun pod, reconnaissance sensors, and target designation pods and electronic warfare, all integrated with a Helmet Mounted Display (HMD) system for both pilots. In the training arena, the M-346FA can integrate into live-virtual-constructive (LVC) environments; this mode involves linking the real training aircraft in the sky with simulators on the ground and incorporating virtual friendly and opposing forces, allowing trainee pilots to challenge a wide range of tactical scenarios.

The trainer version of the M-346 is currently used by the air forces of Italy, Singapore, Israel, and Poland.

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