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AMX International AMX

Light Strike / Advanced Trainer Aircraft


The AMX International was a consortium project handled by Italian and Brazilian aircraft design firms.

Detailing the development and operational history of the AMX International AMX Light Strike / Advanced Trainer Aircraft.  Entry last updated on 2/25/2019. Authored by Staff Writer. Content ©
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.

Externally the AMX is given high-mounted monoplane wings, twin air intakes, and a single engine installation. Crew accommodations varied depending on the model in question and could either be a single pilot or pilot with systems operator seated in tandem. The latter served well the purpose of light strike or advanced jet training. Standard armament varied little between the Italian and the Brazilian types with the Italian version receiving a single 20mm General Electric internal, six-barrled, Gatling-style cannon and the Brazilian version being equipped with twin 30mm DEFA cannons. Four underwing hardpoints, a centerline hardpoint, and wingtip hardpoints all added to the inherent versatility of this relatively compact aircraft. Wingtip mounts were reserved for short-range air-to-air missiles but the other hardpoints were designed to carry variable ordnance loads from guided missiles, bombs, rocket pods, jettisonable fuel tanks for improved range, and reconnaissance pods or target laser designators.

The AMX with the Italians went on to see considerable operational service since its introduction - fighting as part of the U.N.-led "Allied Force" air campaign against Serbia and accounting for over 250 sorties for its part in the operation. The aircraft was fielded with advanced Israeli-made Elbit "Opher" imaging InfraRed (IR) guided drop bombs that proved to be as accurate as advertised. Among other ordnance fielded by the Italian AMX during the war were Mk 82, Mk 83, and Mk 84 conventional drop bombs to go along with "Paveway II" series Laser-Guided Bombs (LGBs).

AMX International AMX (Cont'd)

Light Strike / Advanced Trainer Aircraft

AMX International AMX (Cont'd)

Light Strike / Advanced Trainer Aircraft

Despite it not reaching a more impressive export total, the AMX proved itself a viable weapons delivery platform - considering its design by a consortium of different aircraft firms located on different continents. Export orders were to have been increased by way of a 1999 Venezuelan order for eight aircraft but the United States blocked its sale on the grounds that the aircraft contained some U.S. technology aboard - the American and Venezuelan governments at odds for many decades.

In its modern form, the AMX is powered by a single Rolls-Royce Spey 807 series (non-afterburning) turbofan engine of 11,030lbf. Maximum speed is 570 miles per hour with combat ranges out to 555 miles and ferry ranges out to 2,075 miles. Its service ceiling is in the 42,650 foot range with a rate-of-climb approaching 10,250 feet per minute.

205 AMXs have been produced with the final airframe arriving during 2002. Several marks make up the line:

The AMX-T is a two-seat advanced trainer and the AMT-ATA is a two-seat "Advanced Trainer Attack" model. The AMX-R (RA-1) is a reconnaissance-minded platform. The A-1M is a Brazilian upgraded variant while the A-11A and TA-11A are upgraded Italian marks. The A-11B designation is for Italian aircraft as is TA-11B.

The AMX-T two-seat advanced trainer achieved first flight in 1990. The A-11B makes up the stock of upgraded Italian AMXs from seen from 2006 onwards. In 2013, the Brazilian Air Force began receiving upgraded AMXs through a 43-batch initiative as the A-1M. These aircraft are equipped with Mectron SCP-01 series radar, FLIR, BR2 data links, Israeli Elbit navigation, and "all-glass" digital cockpits.

The A-1 in Italian service is slated for retirement along with the AV-8 Harrier and PANAVIA Tornado strike fighters as the Lockheed F-35 Lightning II arrives in ever-larger numbers. The Lighting II will be fielded with the Eurofighter Typhoon as Italy's proposed frontline "one-two punch".

Program Updates

February 2019 - The AMX International AMX is service with the Italian Air Force is scheduled for be phased out in 2021. The fleet will be succeeded by the incoming Lockheed F-35 Lightning II strike fighter from the United States.


YEAR: 1989
STATUS: Active, In-Service
MANUFACTURER(S): Aeritalia-Alenia; Aermacchi - Italy / Embraer - Brazil
LENGTH: 43.41 ft (13.23 m)
WIDTH: 29.10 ft (8.87 m)
HEIGHT: 14.93 ft (4.55 m)
EMPTY WEIGHT: 14,837 lb (6,730 kg)
MTOW: 28,660 lb (13,000 kg)
POWER: 1 x Rolls-Royce Spey Mk 807 non-afterburning turbofan engine developing 11,030 lb of thrust.
SPEED: 651 mph (1,047 kph; 565 kts)
CEILING: 42,651 feet (13,000 m; 8.08 miles)
RANGE: 345 miles (556 km; 300 nm)
RATE-OF-CLIMB: 10,250 ft/min (3,124 m/min)
OPERATORS: Brazil; Italy

1 x 20mm General Electric GE M61A1 Vulcan internal cannon (Italy) OR 2 x 30mm DEFA internal cannons (Brazil).

Mission-Specific Ordnance can include any of the following:

AIM-9 "Sidewinder" air-to-air missiles (wingtip mounted), MAA-1 "Piranha" air-to-air-missiles (wingtip mounted), Mk 82 bombs, Mk 83 bombs, Mk 84 bombs, Paveway II Laser-Guided Munitions, rocket pods, cluster bombs, "Skyshark" Munition Dispenser, or Elbit "Opher" imaging infra-red guided bomb.

Also Oude Delft Orpheus reconnaissance pod and CDLP laser-designator pod.
Graphical image of an aircrat automatic cannon
Graphical image of an aircraft Gatling-style rotating gun
Graphical image of an air-to-air missile weapon
Graphical image of a short-range air-to-air missile
Graphical image of an aircraft rocket pod
Graphical image of an aircraft conventional drop bomb munition
Graphical image of an aircraft guided bomb munition
Variants / Models

• AMX - Base Series Designation
• AMX-ATA (Advanced Trainer Attack) - Tandem-Seat Model fitted with Elbit avionics package.
• AMX-E - Tandem-Seat HARM-Capable Model; "Escort Jammer" model based on the AMX-T.
• AMX-MLU - Mid-Life Update Model; fitted with redesigned radar system; FLIR capable; improved avionics package; NVG cockpit.
• AMX-T - Based on the AMX-ATA model; fitted with Elbit avionics; digital cockpit.
• A-1 - Brazilian Series Designation
• A-1B - Brazilian Production Model
• TA-1 - Brazilian Production Model

Our Data Modules allow for quick visual reference when comparing a single entry against contemporary designs. Areas covered include general ratings, speed assessments, and relative ranges based on distances between major cities.

Image of collection of graph types

Relative Maximum Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
This entry's maximum listed speed (651mph).

Graph average of 562.5 miles-per-hour.
City-to-City Ranges
Graph showcases the AMX International AMX's operational range (on internal fuel) when compared to distances between major cities.
Aviation Era
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Pie graph section
Useful in showcasing the era cross-over of particular aircraft/aerospace designs.
Unit Production (206)
Comm. Market HI*: 44,000 units
Military Market HI**: 36,183 units

  * Commercial Market High belongs to Cessna 172.

  ** Military Market High belongs to Ilyushin Il-2.

Altitude Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Supported Roles
Ground Attack
Aerial Tanker
A2A=Air-to-Air; UAV=Unmanned; CAS=Close Support; ASW=Anti-Submarine; AEW=Airborne Early Warning; MEDEVAC=Medical Evac; EW=Electronic Warfare; SAR=Search-Rescue
Commitments / Honors
Military lapel ribbon for Operation Allied Force
Military lapel ribbon for the Arab-Israeli War
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Britain
Military lapel ribbon for the Battle of Midway
Military lapel ribbon for the Berlin Airlift
Military lapel ribbon for the Chaco War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cold War
Military lapel ribbon for the Cuban Missile Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for pioneering aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the Falklands War
Military lapel ribbon for the French-Indochina War
Military lapel ribbon for the Golden Age of Flight
Military lapel ribbon for the 1991 Gulf War
Military lapel ribbon for the Indo-Pak Wars
Military lapel ribbon for the Iran-Iraq War
Military lapel ribbon for the Korean War
Military lapel ribbon for the 1982 Lebanon War
Military lapel ribbon for the Malayan Emergency
Military lapel ribbon representing modern aircraft
Military lapel ribbon for the attack on Pearl Harbor
Military lapel ribbon for the Six Day War
Military lapel ribbon for the Soviet-Afghan War
Military lapel ribbon for the Spanish Civil War
Military lapel ribbon for the Suez Crisis
Military lapel ribbon for the Vietnam War
Military lapel ribbon for Warsaw Pact of the Cold War-era
Military lapel ribbon for the WASP (WW2)
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 1
Military lapel ribbon for the World War 2
Military lapel ribbon for the Yom Kippur War
Military lapel ribbon for experimental x-plane aircraft
* Ribbons not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns/operations.

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