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AMX International AMX


Light Strike / Advanced Trainer Aircraft


Italy | 1989



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



Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/09/2024 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this 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).

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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".

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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.

April 2024 - The Italian Air Force has completed retirement of its aging AMX fleet.

Power & Performance
Those special qualities that separate one aircraft design from another. Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the AMX International AMX Light Strike / Advanced Trainer Aircraft.
1 x Rolls-Royce Spey Mk 807 non-afterburning turbofan engine developing 11,030 lb of thrust.
Propulsion
651 mph
1,047 kph | 565 kts
Max Speed
42,651 ft
13,000 m | 8 miles
Service Ceiling
345 miles
556 km | 300 nm
Operational Range
10,250 ft/min
3,124 m/min
Rate-of-Climb
City-to-City Ranges
Operational range when compared to distances between major cities (in KM).
NYC
 
  LON
LON
 
  PAR
PAR
 
  BER
BER
 
  MOS
MOS
 
  TOK
TOK
 
  SYD
SYD
 
  LAX
LAX
 
  NYC
Structure
The nose-to-tail, wingtip-to-wingtip physical qualities of the AMX International AMX Light Strike / Advanced Trainer Aircraft.
1
(MANNED)
Crew
43.4 ft
13.23 m
O/A Length
29.1 ft
(8.87 m)
O/A Width
14.9 ft
(4.55 m)
O/A Height
14,837 lb
(6,730 kg)
Empty Weight
28,660 lb
(13,000 kg)
MTOW
Design Balance
The three qualities reflected below are altitude, speed, and range. The more full the box, the more balanced the design.
RANGE
ALT
SPEED
Armament
Available supported armament and special-mission equipment featured in the design of the AMX International AMX Light Strike / Advanced Trainer Aircraft .
STANDARD:
1 x 20mm General Electric GE M61A1 Vulcan internal cannon (Italy) OR 2 x 30mm DEFA internal cannons (Brazil).

OPTIONAL:
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.
Variants
Notable series variants as part of the AMX International AMX family line.
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
Operators
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the AMX International AMX. Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national aircraft listing.

Total Production: 206 Units

Contractor(s): Aeritalia-Alenia; Aermacchi - Italy / Embraer - Brazil
National flag of Brazil National flag of Italy

[ Brazil; Italy ]
Relative Max Speed
Hi: 750mph
Lo: 375mph
Aircraft Max Listed Speed (651mph).

Graph Average of 563 MPH.
Era Crossover
Pie graph section
Showcasing Aircraft Era Crossover (if any)
Max Alt Visualization
Small airplane graphic
Production Comparison
206
36183
44000
Entry compared against Ilyushin IL-2 (military) and Cessna 172 (civilian) total production.
MACH Regime (Sonic)
Sub
Trans
Super
Hyper
HiHyper
ReEntry
RANGES (MPH) Subsonic: <614mph | Transonic: 614-921 | Supersonic: 921-3836 | Hypersonic: 3836-7673 | Hi-Hypersonic: 7673-19180 | Reentry: >19030
Aviation Timeline
EarlyYrs
WWI
Interwar
WWII
ColdWar
Postwar
Modern
Future
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Image of the AMX International AMX
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery gallery.
2 / 6
Image of the AMX International AMX
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery gallery.
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Image of the AMX International AMX
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery gallery.
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Image of the AMX International AMX
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery gallery.
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Image of the AMX International AMX
Image from the United States Department of Defense DVIDS imagery gallery.
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Image of the AMX International AMX
Image from the United States Department of Defense imagery database.

Mission Roles
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to airborne requirements.
AIR-TO-AIR COMBAT
GROUND ATTACK
TRAINING
Recognition
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The AMX International AMX Light Strike / Advanced Trainer Aircraft appears in the following collections:
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