Brazilian Air Force designations: A-1 and A-1B
italian Air Force name: Ghibli (Desert Wind)

TYPE: Attack fighter.

PROGRAMME: Resulted from June 1977 Italian Air Force specification for small tactical fighter-bomber; original Aeritalia/Aermacchi partnership joined by Embraer July 1980; seven single-seat prototypes built (first flight 15 May 1984); production of first 30 (Italy 21, Brazil nine), and design of two-seater, began mid-1986; first production aircraft rolled out at Turin 29 March 1988, making first flight 11 May; second contract (Italy 59, Brazil 25, including six and three two-seaters respectively) placed 1988.
Deliveries to Italian Air Force (six for Reparto Sperimentale di Volo at Pratica di Mare) began April 1989; production A-1 for Brazilian Air Force (s/n 5500) made first flight 12 August 1989, deliveries (two to Nucleo A-1 training nucleus at Santa Cruz) following from 17 October 1989; in-flight refuelling test programme completed (by Embraer) August/September 1989; first flight by first (of three) two-seat AMX-T prototypes 14 March 1990 (MM55024), followed by second on 16 July; first flight of Embraer two-seater (serial number 5650), 14 August 1991; third production batch authorised early 1992 (one year late); first two-seater for Brazilian Air Force (5650) delivered 7 May 1992.
Italian single-seater production temporarily halted following delivery on 1 February 1993 of 72nd aircraft (MM7160); resumed late 1994, with both AMX and first production batch of AMX-T. Final Italian single-seater delivered in 1997; total 110, comprising 74 built by Alenia and 36 by Aermacchi. Batch 4 (35 AMX and 16 AMX-T) and Batch 5 (42 AMX and 9 AMX-T) cancelled. Final Italian two-seater followed in 1998; 26 built: 17 Alenia, nine Aermacchi. Production continued in Brazil, where 50th was delivered on 1 December 1998 and last in 1999. No further manufacture until 2005 planned delivery of Venezuelan aircraft.
Istrana- and Amendola-based AMX squadrons flew 252 combat sorties (667 flying hours) during Operation Allied Force against Yugoslavia in 1999, dropping 39 Opher LGBs.

CURRENT VERSIONS: AMX: Replaced G91R/Y and some F-104G/S in Italian Air Force (eight squadrons originally planned) and some EMB-326GB Xavante in Brazilian Air Force for close support/interdiction/reconnaissance, sharing counter-air duties with IDS Tornado (Italy) and F-5E/Mirage 50 (Brazil); in service with five Italian Stormi and 10° and 16° Grupos (Brazil); Brazilian Air Force aircraft (designated A-1) differ primarily in avionics and weapon delivery systems, have two 30 mm guns instead of Italian version's single multibarrel 20 mm weapon and are usually fitted with in-flight refuelling probes.
AMX-MLU: Mid-life upgrade originally to be undertaken jointly by Brazil and Italy, but subsequently abandoned because of high cost and limited funding. Italy then opted to adopt more limited upgrade project, including GPS navigation, an improved EW suite, integration of Thales CLDP laser designator pod and ability to use newer weapons such as JDAM; consideration also reportedly being given to installing new real-time reconnaissance pod. In this guise, Italy expects upgraded aircraft to be available for service in 2005.
Super AMX: Obsolete designation for two-seater offered to South Africa. Would have featured wide-angle HUD, 'glass cockpit', improved HOTAS, GPS, HMD, integrated defensive aids, and new weapons. Also new radar - possibly Scipio already fitted to Brazilian AMX.
Detailed description applies to single-seater except where indicated.
AMX-T: Second cockpit accommodated by removing forward fuselage fuel tank and relocating environmental control system; dual controls, canopy, integration of rear cockpit GEC-Marconi HUD monitor, and oxygen systems, designed/redesigned by Embraer, intended both as operational trainer and, suitably equipped, for such roles as EW, reconnaissance and maritime attack; most Italian AMX-Ts assigned to operational squadrons of 32 ° Stormo; others assigned, one per squadron, as trainers. Brazilian designation A-1B.
AMX-ATA: Venezuela announced intent to acquire eight two-seaters in September 1999, but contract not finalised until 18 December 2002, when total had been increased to 12. The Venezuelan aircraft will have Elta EL/M-2032 radar and Elbit avionics.
AMX-ATA 2: Light combat aircraft and advanced trainer for export with AMX-MLU avionics and non-afterburning EJ200 engine.
AMX-E: Proposed two-seat EW version intended as escort jammer and SEAD platform using AGM-88 HARM missiles. Flight controls removed from rear cockpit. MM55027 used for development. Feasibility study complete, further development cancelled.

CUSTOMERS: Total of 192 (136 Italy / 56 Brazil, including 26 and 11 two-seaters) delivered by March 2000 to original partners. Eight two-seaters selected by Venezuela on 9 September 1999 and confirmed on 18 December 2002 with increased requirement of 12 to replace Rockwell T-2D Buckeyes from 2005 onwards. Italy plans to place all 19 remaining Batch 1 aircraft in reserve for possible sale. By 1998, 23 Batch 2 aircraft had been upgraded to 'pre-FOC' (fully operational capability) standard and plans were in hand to modify remaining 15 to FOC. These 38 plus all 56 remaining from Batch 3 (FOC), formed baseline fleet of 94, though AMI active inventory quoted as 104 aircraft by May 1999. Italian long-term plan is for four squadrons, including OCU.

COSTS: US$18.75 million (1999) AMX-T Venezuelan programme unit cost.

DESIGN FEATURES: Intended for high-subsonic/very low-altitude day/night missions, in poor visibility and, if necessary, from poorly equipped or partially damaged runways. Required fatigue life of 16,000 hours being extended to 24,000 hours.
Wing sweepback 31° on leading-edges, 27° 30' at quarter-chord; thickness/chord ratio 12 per cent.

FLYING CONTROLS: Hydraulically actuated ailerons and elevators; leading-edge slats and Fowler double-slotted trailing-edge flaps (each two-segment on each wing, positions 0, 30 and 41°) actuated electrohydraulically; pair of hydraulically actuated spoilers forward of each flap pair, deployable separately in inboard and outboard pairs; fly-by-wire control of spoilers, rudder and variable incidence tailplane by Alenia/BAE Systems flight control computer; ailerons, elevators, rudder have manual reversion for fly-home capability, even with both hydraulic systems inoperative; spoilers serve also as airbrakes/lift dumpers.

STRUCTURE: Mainly aluminium alloy except for carbon fibre fin and elevators; shoulder-mounted wings, each with three-point attachment to fuselage, have three-spar torsion box with integrally stiffened skins; oval-section semi-monocoque fuselage, with rear portion (including tailplane) detachable for engine access.
Work split gives programme leader Alenia 46.7 per cent (centre-fuselage, nose radome, tail surfaces, ailerons and spoilers); Aermacchi has 23.6 per cent (forward fuselage including gun and avionics integration, canopy, tailcone) and Embraer 29.7 per cent (air intakes, wings, leading-edge slats, flaps, wing pylons, external fuel tanks and reconnaissance pallets); single-sourced production, with final assembly lines in Italy and Brazil.

LANDING GEAR: Hydraulically retractable tricycle type, of Messier-Bugatti levered suspension design, built in Italy by Magnaghi (nose unit) and in France by ERAM (main units). Single wheel and oleo-pneumatic shock-absorber on each unit. Nose unit retracts forward; main units retract forward and inward, turning through approximately 90° to lie almost flat in underside of engine air intake trunks. Nosewheel hydraulically steerable (±6° normal; ±45° with full pedal movement), self-centring, and fitted with anti-shimmy device. Towing travel ±90°. Mainwheel tyres size 670x210-12 (18 ply), pressure 9.65 bar (140 lb/sq in); nosewheel tyre size 18x5.5-8 (10 ply), pressure 10.70 bar (155 lb/sq in). Hydraulic brakes and fully modulated anti-skid system. No brake-chute. Runway arrester hook. Minimum ground turning radius 7.53 m (24 ft 8½ in).

POWER PLANT: One 49.1 kN (11,030 lb st) Rolls-Royce RB 168 Spey Mk 807 non-afterburning turbofan, built under licence in Italy by Fiat, Piaggio and Alfa Romeo Avio, in association with Companhia Eletro-Mecânica (CELMA) in Brazil. Self-sealing, compartmented, rubber fuselage bag tanks and two integral wing tanks with combined capacity of 3,500 litres (924.6 US gallons; 770 Imp gallons). Brazilian AMX carry 200 litres (52.8 US gallons; 44.0 Imp gallons) more internal fuel in additional saddle tank behind cockpit. Auxiliary fuel tanks of up to 1,100 litres (290 US gallons; 242 Imp gallons) capacity can be carried by Brazilian aircraft on each inboard underwing pylon, and up to 580 litres (153 US gallons; 128 Imp gallons) on each outboard pylon (Italian or Brazilian). Single-point pressure or gravity refuelling of internal and external tanks. Optional in-flight refuelling capability (probe and drogue system) is standard in Brazil.

ACCOMMODATION: Pilot only, on Martin-Baker Mk 10L zero/zero ejection seat; 18° downward view over nose. One-piece wraparound windscreen (reinforced on Brazilian aircraft); one-piece hinged canopy, opening sideways to starboard. Cockpit pressurised and air conditioned. Tandem two-seat combat trainer/special missions version also produced, with Mk 10LY-2 (front) and MK 10LY-3 (rear) seats.

SYSTEMS: Microtecnica environmental control system (ECS) provides air conditioning of cockpit, avionics and reconnaissance pallets, cockpit pressurisation, air intake and inlet guide vane anti-icing, windscreen demisting and anti-g systems. Duplicated redundant hydraulic systems, driven by engine gearbox, operate at pressure of 207 bar (3,000 lb/sq in); both actuate primary flight control system (aileron, elevators and rudder) and secondary (flap and slat system); No.1 circuit additionally supplies outboard spoilers, nosewheel steering and gun; No.2 also supplies inboard spoilers and landing gear actuation. Primary electrical system AC power (115/200 V at fixed frequency of 400 Hz) supplied by two 30 kVA IDG generators, with two transformer-rectifier units for conversion to 28 V DC; 36 Ah Ni/Cd battery for emergency use, to provide power for essential systems in the event of primary and secondary electrical system failure. Aeroeletrônica (Brazil) external power control unit. Fiat FA 150 Argo APU for engine starting. APU-driven electrical generator for ground operation. Liquid oxygen system.

AVIONICS: All avionics/equipment packages pallet-mounted and positioned for rapid access. Modular design and space provisions within aircraft permit retrofitting of alternative avionics.
Comms: UHF and VHF com, and IFF.
Radar: Pointer ranging radar in Italian AMXs is I-band set modified from Elta (Israel) EL/M-2001B and built in Italy by FIAR. Brazilian aircraft were originally intended to have Tecnasa/SMA-built (Alenia) SCP-01 Scipio radar, but this was not installed at time of production due to local bankruptcies of two Brazilian companies selected to produce the radar. It will now be fitted as part of the mid-life upgrade. Venezuela has specified Elta EL/M-2032 radar for its aircraft.
Flight: Litton Italia INS, with standby AHRS and Tacan, for Italian Air Force; VOR/ILS for Brazil. Data processing, with Microtecnica air data computer. BAE Systems MED 2067 video monitor display in rear cockpit of two-seater, for use by instruction/navigator as HUD monitor.
Instrumentation: Alenia computer-based weapon aiming and delivery, incorporating radar and Alenia stores management system; digital data displays (OMI/Alenia head-up, Alenia multifunction head-down, and weapons/nav selector). Provision for night vision goggles.
Mission: Italian aircraft of 3° Stormo equipped with Oude Delft Orpheus reconnaissance pods, and was an internal sensor suite being sought for deployment in 2001. This is believed to have been cancelled, but was to have comprised any one of three interchangeable Aeroeletrônica (Brazil) pallet-mounted photographic systems installed internally in forward fuselage, complementing external IR/EO pod on centreline pylon. Each system fully compatible with aircraft, and not affecting operational capability. Camera bay in lower starboard side of fuselage, forward of mainwheel bay.
Self-defence: Elettronica active and passive ECM, including fin-mounted radar warning receiver.

ARMAMENT: One M61A1 multibarrel 20 mm cannon, with 350 rounds, in port side of lower forward fuselage of aircraft for Italian Air Force (one 30 mm DEFA 554 cannon on each side in aircraft for Brazilian Air Force). Single stores attachment point on fuselage centreline, plus two attachments under each wing, and wingtip rails for two AIM-9L. Sidewinder or similar IR air-to-air missiles (MAA-1 Piranha on Brazilian aircraft). Fuselage and inboard underwing points each stressed for loads of up to 907 kg (2,000 lb); outboard underwing points stressed for 454 kg (1,000 lb) each; wingtip stations stressed for 113 kg (250 lb) each. Twin carriers can be fitted to all five stations. Total external stores load 3,800 kg (8,377 lb). Attack weapons can include free-fall or retarded Mk 82/83/84 bombs, laser-guided bombs, cluster bombs, air-to-surface missiles (including area denial, anti-radiation and anti-shipping weapons), electro-optical precision-guided munitions and rocket launchers.
Exocet firing trials conducted 1991; Marte trials 1994; carriage trials of GBU-16 Paveway II LGB on Italian AMX in 1995 and aircraft used Elbit Opher LGB system during Operation Allied Force over Kosovo, May-July 1999.