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    Aermacchi MB.326 Advanced Trainer / Light Ground Attack Aircraft (1962)

    Aermacchi MB.326 Advanced Trainer / Light Ground Attack Aircraft (1962)

    The light attack Aermacchi MB.326 series was also made available in a popular twin-seat operational trainer.





    Staff Writer (Updated: 3/20/2016):

    The Aermacchi MB.326 series of aircraft has become one of the most successful blends of operational trainer and light attack capabilities. Developed during the Cold War in 1957, the Aermacchi-produced two-seat trainer was already being designed with frontline light strike duty in mind. As the trainer went into production and service, the results were impressive enough to warrant the development of the single seat K model.

    The MB.326K (or MB-326K) was a single-seat, single-engine derivative of the twin seat trainer brand. The removal of the instructor's seating position at rear allowed for increased stowage for more avionics systems and more fuel stores. The additional of twin 30mm DEFA cannons was also introduced with the K model to compliment the already existing and impressive 6-hardpoint configuration.

    Finding some success in the export market, the system was also produced under license by Atlas for South Africa. Equally effective as a trainer or light strike aircraft, the Aermacchi MB.326 series made a name for itself in either role. It was succeeded by the upgraded Aermacchi MB.339 series of aircraft.

    Incidentaly, the "B" prefix in the designation is derived from its designer - Doctor Ing Ermano Bazzochi.


     SPECIFICATIONS 


    Aermacchi MB.326K
    Type: Advanced Trainer / Light Ground Attack Aircraft
    National Origin: Italy [ VIEW ]
    Manufacturer(s): Aermacchi - Italy [ VIEW ]
    Introduction: 1962
    Production Total: 761 [ VIEW ]

     OPERATORS 


    Italy; Argentina; Australia; Dubai; Ghana; South Africa; Tunisia; Zaire; Zambia


     STRUCTURAL 


    Crew: 1
    Length: 35.01 feet (10.67 meters)
    Width: 35.60 feet (10.85 meters)
    Height: 12.20 feet (3.72 meters)
    Weight (Empty): 6,535 lb (2,964 kg)
    Weight (MTOW): 12,996 lb (5,895 kg)


     PERFORMANCE 


    Maximum Speed: 553 mph (890 kmh; 481 knots)
    Maximum Range: 677 miles (1,090 km)
    Service Ceiling: 41,010 feet (12,500 meters; 7.8 miles)
    Rate-of-Climb: 6,500 feet-per-minute (1,981 m/min)


     POWER 


    Powerplant: 1 x Rolls-Royce Viper 632-42 turbojet engine generating 4,000lbs of thrust.


     ARMAMENT / MISSION PAYLOAD 


    Hardpoints: 6
    Armament / Mission Payload:
    STANDARD:
    2 x 30mm internal cannons

    OPTIONAL:
    Maximum external ordnance load of up to 4,000lbs of bombs, rockets and missiles. Mission-specific ordnance can include any of the following:

    Drop Bombs
    AS.12 wire-guided air-to-surface missiles
    Matra R550 Magic air-to-air missiles
    Unguided Rockets
    Additional Cannon Pods
    Reconnaissance Pods


     VARIANTS 


    MB.326 - Base Series Production Model Designation

    MB.326A - Armed Variant never ordered; six underwing hardpoints.

    MB.326B - Tunisian Export Model Designation

    MB.326D - Unarmed Variant purchased by Alitalia.

    MB.326E - Viper 11-powered variant for Italian purchase.

    MB.326F - Ghana Export Variant

    MB.326G - Fitted with more powerful Viper 20 Mk.540 powerplant; internal strengthening; increased weapons load.

    MB.326GC

    MB.326H - Australian Export Variant produced in-country by CAC; retired from service in 2001.

    MB.326K - Single-Seat Light Attack Aircraft; based on the MB.326K model with strengthened airframe and improved power from the Viper 20 powerplant; increased avionics equipment and fuel over the two-seat trainer variant; implementation of 2 x 30mm DEFA cannons.

    MB.326KD - Dubai Export Model Designation

    MB.326KB - Zaire Export Model Designation

    MB.326KG - Ghana Export Model Designation

    MB.326KM - South African Export Model Designation

    MB.326KT - Tunisian Export Model Designation

    Impala Mk 1 - Atlas-produced South African model.

    Impala Mk 2 - Atlas-produced South African model.

    MB.339 - Upgraded Successor of the MB.326 system series.

    EMB-326 "Xavante" - Embraer license-built MB.326GC model.

    MB.326L - Final two-seat variant production model.


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