Turkmenistan appears to be new M-346 customer

Leonardo M-346FA.

According to several web rumors, Turkmenistan appears to have purchased the M-346 trainer aircraft. Although there is nothing official at the moment, some details may support this news.

At the beginning of May, the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs shared with the Senate details related to the export of armaments in 2019. Turkmenistan has a leading role in the report as it was the second largest export customer of the year, after Egypt. In 2019 Ashgabat purchased € 446.1 million of unspecified Italian military products.

In 2019, Leonardo, the manufacturer of the M-346, had confirmed the sale of six M-346 aircraft in the "FA" light attack variant, without revealing the customer's name.

Usually the Turkmen government does not comment on arms purchases and this is probably the reason why no details have been disclosed before.

Turkmenistan is known to be interested in the Made-in-Italy jet. In 2018, an M-346 was on display in Turkmenistan - probably as part of a promotional tour - and Turkmenian President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov was photographed inside the cockpit.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Leonardo

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