AMX International AMX Light Strike / Advanced Trainer Aircraft
The AMX International was a consortium project handled by Italian and Brazilian aircraft design firms.
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The subsonic AMX International AMX (known as the "Gibli" to the Italian Air Force) was the result of cooperation between two Italian (Aeritalia - now Alenia - and Aermacchi) and one Brazilian (Embraer) aircraft firms. Development of the aircraft began with just the two Italian companies in 1978 after the Italian Air Force put forth a requirement for a advanced multi-role platform with inherent reconnaissance capabilities. This requirement was seen as an appropriate replacement for Italy's aging fleet of American-originated Lockheed F-104 "Starfighters" and Italian Aeritalia G.91 series aircraft. Determined to fulfill this requirement with an all-indigenous fighter design, Aermacchi and Aeritalia set to work on what would become the "AMX". Coming into the program in 1980, the Brazilian Air Force joined the venture to fulfill a similar local air force requirement. The aircraft were then produced under the "AMX International" brand label.
The AMX program progressed into a first flight on May 15th, 1984 - this prototype serving the Italians with the Brazilian prototype unveiled a year later. The major difference between the two aircraft designs lay in their avionics package which showed the customizability afforded to the AMX airframe as a whole - a promising side-effect becoming an export-friendly product on the world stage. The initial order was for 272 aircraft but this was later reduced to 136 due to budgetary constraints for both involved nations. Nevertheless, development continued with little in the way of technical setbacks. Official production-quality aircraft entered service in 1989 with frontline strength reached in 1990. Production of the AMX series broke down as Alenia (Aeritalia) handling up to 46.7% whilst Embraer took its 29.7% share and Aermacchi handled a 23.6% portion. Final assembly was managed locally in the respective countries.