AERMACCHI M-346 Master
The first prototype of the Italian jet trainer M-346 Master, which also can be used as a light combat aircraft, took off for its maiden flight in 2004. The program for the production of this latest generation jet trainer was started in 1993 as an Italian-Russian cooperation of the Aermacchi and Yakovlev company. In 1996, the first test flight of the Yak/AeM-130 took place. The cooperation, however, came to an end in 2000, and both companies started to develop their own plane.
The M-346 entered serial production in 2010 and is a very advanced development of the original Yak/AeM concept. Its avionics system is oriented after the Eurofighter, the Dassault Rafale and other western fighter planes currently in production. The flight performances of the M-346 are considerably better than those of the trainers of earlier generations and very close to the performances of 4th and 5th generation planes without afterburner.