in Defence

Paramount to work with Leonardo on weaponised M-345

Posted 20 September 2018 · Add Comment

Leonardo and the Paramount Group are to evaluate the joint development of a weaponized configuration of M-345 jet trainer for the African market and will continue discussions over the future of the SF-260 programme and its logistic support services.


The two companies signed a letter of intent (LOI) at the AAD show in Pretoria.
Lucio Valerio Cioffi, Leonardo’s aircraft division managing director, said: “we believe the African market shows great potential for the M-345 programme. We think that a collaboration with a high level partner, such as Paramount, is strategic to develop a new M-345 operational configuration for the African market. The M-345 is a basic/advanced trainer with multirole capabilities and costs comparable to a turboprop aircraft. These characteristics and more make the M-345 perfectly suited for the African market.”
Ralph Mills, Paramount Advanced Technologies CEO, said: “We have launched and demonstrated our Smart Weapons Integration on fast-jet trainers (SWIFT) mission system alongside the African debut of Leonardo’s M-345 jet trainer. SWIFT is focused on current threats and current customer requirements. It offers low acquisition and operation costs and is suitable for non-conventional or asymmetric warfare. It addresses the customers growing need for multi-role configuration to adapt to different mission roles without major re-configuration and extended time delay. The platform can be described as short timeframe, light combat and surveillance solution utilising the best of the best in the defence industry.”



 

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