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The AMX International AMX "Ghibli" is a ground-attack aircraft for battlefield interdiction, close air support and reconnaissance missions. It is built by the AMX International Italian-Brazilian joint venture, and is designated the A-1 in the Brazilian Air Force.

The AMX is capable of operating at high subsonic speed and low altitude, by day or night, and if necessary, from bases with poorly equipped or damaged runways. Low IR signature and reduced radar equivalent cross-section help prevent detection, while low vulnerability of structure and systems aid survivability. Integrated ECM, air-to-air missiles and nose-mounted guns provide self-defence capabilities.

Development

In 1977, the Italian Air Force issued a requirement for a strike fighter to replace its Aeritalia G.91 and some of its F-104 Starfighters. Rather than competing for the contract, Aeritalia (now Alenia Aeronautica) and Aermacchi agreed to make a joint proposal, as both firms had been considering the development of a similar class of aircraft for some years. Development work began in April 1978.

In July 1981, the Italian and Brazilian governments agreed on joint requirements for the aircraft, and Embraer was invited to join the partnership.

The first prototype flew on 15 May 1984. Although it was lost on its fifth flight (killing its pilot), the test programme progressed reasonably smoothly otherwise. Production started by mid-1986, with the first examples delivered to the Italian and Brazilian air forces in 1989. Since then, some 200 AMXs have been built.

Italian AMX squadrons flew 252 combat sorties over Kosovomarker as part of Operation Allied Force, without a single loss.

Operational history

Italian AMX aircraft were used in 1999 in the Kosovo war. Instead of using unguided or more traditional laser-guided bombs, the Italian Air Force used Mk 82 bombs fitted with guidance kits, effectively converting the "dumb" bombs into an infrared-guided bomb.

In 2005, the Italian Air Force launches an upgrade programme (ACOL Aggionamento Capacità Operative e Logistiche - Operational and Logistical Capacity Upgrade) for 55 of its AMXs,, adding a new laser INS, new cockpit displays and allowing the aircraft to drop Joint Direct Attack Munition guided bombs.

Variants

AMX-T

In 1986, development of a two-seat advanced trainer variant was undertaken. This was intended to provide trainee pilots with experience on fast jets, while still retaining the single-seater's attack capabilities. The AMX-T first flew in 1990 and equips both the Italian and Brazilian air forces.

AMX-ATA

The AMX Advanced Trainer Attack (AMX-ATA) is a new AMX two-seater multi-mission attack fighter developed for combat roles and advanced training. The AMX-ATA incorporates new sensors, a forward-looking infrared helmet-mounted display, a new multi-mode radar for air-to-air and air-to-surface capability, and new weapons systems including anti-ship missiles and medium-range missiles. The Venezuelan Air Force ordered eight AMX-ATA in 1999 for the advanced trainer and attack aircraft role, but the U.S. Congress vetoed the sale because the aircraft systems include U.S. technology.

AMX-R (RA-1)

The AMX for reconnaissance, used by the Brazilian Air Force, with a reconnaissance pallet.

Operators

: Brazilian Air Force. Operates 55 AMXs.


: Italian Air Force. four prototypes, 110 one-seaters and 26 two-seaters.


Specifications (AMX)



See also

References

  1. Braybrook 1989, p.267.
  2. Braybrook 1989, p.275.
  3. Niccoli 2009, p.44.


  • Braybrook, Roy. "Assessing the AMX". Air International, June 1989, Vol 36 No 6. Bromley, UK:Fine Scroll. ISSN 0306-5634. pp. 267—278.
  • Niccoli, Ricardo. "AMX: Upgraded and Ready for Combat". Air International, November 2009, Vol 77 No 5. Stamford, UK:Key Publishing. ISSN 0306-5634. pp. 42–45.


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