The M-345 is based on the firm’s planned, but never produced M-311 trainer, albeit with new engines, avionics and some structural aerodynamic changes, and it will replace the MB-339.

The company said the test-flight program would be completed during 2017. "The next tests will check the advanced avionics systems, the engine and the flight envelope expansion, including altitude, speed and

manoeuvrability," the firm said.

Tom Kington is the Italy correspondent for Defense News.

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