Azerbaijan to equip Italian M-346 Master trainer and attack aircraft

During an official visit to Rome, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev is said to have agreed to the purchase of 10 M-346 advanced training aircraft for the Azerbaijani air force. The letter of intent would also include an option for around fifteen attack version aircraft for the replacement of Azeri Su-25s.

If this order is the result of several years of negotiations with the Italian government and Leonardo, it is also part of a game of declarative strategy aimed at countering the modernization of the Armenian air forces, a country with which Azerbaijan still maintains a conflict over the Nagorno Karabakh region.

The Su-25 still constitutes the bulk of the strike forces of the Azerbaijani Air Force. Although lighter, the M-346 should provide more precision and lower operating costs, without autonomy being a problem given the strategic shallow depth of the country.

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