Italian aerospace company Leonardo's military trainer aircraft, the M-345 was intended for the international market as both a trainer and an operational aircraft, and is designed for low price, and also low maintenance and operational costs. This is due in part to the airplane's advanced avionics that includes the Health and Usage Monitoring System (HUMS), which monitors the state of the aircraft and reduces the need of general overhauls.
The M-345 also has an avionics suite that the company says is up to combat jet standards and includes Hands On Throttle And Stick (HOTAS) controls, Head up Display (HUD), and real-time Multi-Function Displays (MFD). The aircraft has pressure refuelling systems and an On-Board Oxygen Generation System (OBOGS) for greater efficiency and less need for ground crews.
On 29 December 2016, the prototype M-345HET (High Efficiency Trainer) tandem-seat basic jet trainer took to the skies over the Venegono Superiore airfield in Varese, Italy, under the command of test pilots Quirino Bucci and Giacomo Iannelli. According to the company, the 30-minute flight went off without incident.
Engine: 1 x Williams FJ44-4M-34 turbofan, 1,540 kg / 3,450 lb thrust
Wingspan: 8.47 m / 27.78 ft
Weight: 3,300 kg / 7,275 lb
Cruising speed: 400 kt / 460 mph / 740 km/h
Service ceiling: 40,000 ft / 12,000 m
Ferry range: 760 nm / 824 mi / 1,410 km