Azerbaijan will purchase the M-346 aircraft integration system from Italy.

The M-346 trainer aircraft produced since 2010 by Italian Leonardo S.p.A is believed to be one of the best in its class, Report informs.

The M-346 can be considered a fighter jet by its technical characteristics.

Its performance levels, flight characteristics, on-board systems, and five hardpoints (three wet) offer significant opportunities as a Companion trainer. It has high fuel capacity and air-to-air refueling capability for long-range and endurance and time on station.

The aircraft is in service with the Air Forces of Italy, the Republic of Singapore, Israel, and Poland.

General characteristics of the aircraft are as follows: Crew: 2, Length: 11.49 m, Wingspan: 9.72 m, Height: 4.76 m, Wing area: 23.52 m2, Empty weight: 4,610 kg, Gross weight: 6,700 kg, Max takeoff weight: 9,500 kg, Fuel capacity: 2,000 kg.

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The aircraft also has another advantage for Azerbaijan – the possibility of integrating the modern SOM cruise missile into our M-346 aircraft. SOM-B1, next-generation autonomous, low observable, high precision cruise missile has been developed by TÜBİTAK SAGE, Defence Research and Development Institute of Turkey.

Within the framework of President Ilham Aliyev’s visit to Italy, the two countries signed a document on the purchase of the M-346 aircraft integration system.

Azerbaijani Defense Minister, Colonel General Zakir Hasanov, and Chief Executive Officer of Italian company Leonardo S.p.A. exchanged the Declaration on the acquisition of the M-346 aircraft integration system.

The Declaration was signed during the official visit of President of AzerbaijanIlham Aliyevto Italy.