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UAE orders 48 Italian military trainer aircraft

Latest update : 2009-02-25

After Tuesday's deal with Boeing and Lockheed Martin, the United Arab Emirates has announced it is ordering 48 military M346 trainer aircraft from Italian manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi. The total value of the deal has not yet been decided.

AFP - The United Arab Emirates announced on Wednesday it is ordering 48 military M346 trainer aircraft from Italian manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi, the IDEX defence show spokesman said.

"Alenia Aermacchi will supply the UAE armed forces with 48 aircraft to cover its need for trainer planes," General Obeid al-Ketbi told reporters on the fourth day of the largest defence fair in the Middle East.

He said the total value of the deal is still to be decided.

"We still need some time to decide on the total value of the deal," he said, pointing out agreements are still to be reached over the requirements in the aircraft.

The Italian plane was chosen in competion with the T-50 aircraft, made by Korean Aerospace Industry (KAI), and the BAE Systems Hawk 128, Ketbi added.

The aircraft boasts avionics modelled upon those of new generation military aircraft such as the Eurofighter, Gripen, Rafale, F-16, F-18, F-22 and the future F-35, according to Alenia Aermacchi website.

The UAE air force fleet comprises F-16, Mirage 2000, and Hawk MK60 fighters.

Date created : 2009-02-25