TYPE: Light fighter/advanced jet trainer.
PROGRAMME: Joint Aeromacchi/DASA AT-2000 programme launched in April 1989, Aermacchi withdrew in 1994; DASA maintained the programme in hope of a joint development venture with South Korea. Following the latter's expressed preference in 1996 for a patnership with Lockheed Martin to satisfy its KTX-2 requirement, DASA began seeking an alternative collaborator in addition to Denel in South Africa, which was to provide avionics. Hyundai of South Korea expressed interest in the venture in early 1997, intending to build non-composites components of the centre and rear fuselage and tail. Design revealed in October 1996, after completion of wind tunnel tests and when radar cross-section trials in hand. Feasibility study completed by DASA in late 1997. Named Mako in 1998, by which time was foreseen as a 'modular design concept' with different versions for air-to-air, air-to-ground and training missions.
Predefinition phase began in early 1998. Full definition began by mid-1999, following a decision by the DASA board; full-scale mockup shown at 1999 Paris Air Show; cockpit demonstrator (conventional and VR simulator) at Paris 2001. Potential suppliers represented on demonstrator comprised BAE Systems North America (throttle and stick), Goodrich (front ejection seat), Martin-Baker (rear ejection seat) and CDC (displays and control system). MoUs signed at Dubai in February 2001 and at Paris in June 2001 with SNECMA (M88-2 engines), BAE Systems (FCS and control systems), BGT/Diehl (computer and weapons systems and training aids), APPH Precision Hydraulics (landing gear and hydraulics) and Fairey Hydraulics (flight control actuation). Original target partners (South Africa and South Korea) have hot joined the programme and there is no unilateral home-market (Luftwaffe) interest.
Launch of 18-month definition phase, dependent upon joint development agreement with United Arab Emirates, had been expected at Dubai Air Show in November 2001, but was delayed; however, MoUs signed at that time with Autoflug (fuel systems); Flight Visions (displays and controls); Rockwell Collins (navigation and communications equipment, displays and controls). MoUs are for down-selection only, and do not confer subcontractor status. Financing based on risk and revenue sharing with major suppliers, national partners and industrial partners. MoU of 9 December 2002 requires GE Aircraft Engines to define and integrate variant of F414-GE-400 turbofan. In addition, Mako At is candidate for AEJPT advanced European jet pilot training programme being considered by 12 air forces, including Luftwaffe. Separate interest in Mako LCA from Greece, UAE and Brazil. First of two prototypes to fly five years after launch decision; production start in following year; deliveries nine years after launch.
CURRENT VERSIONS: Mako-AT: Advanced trainer. Original baseline advanced two-seat trainer, available with or without radar and internal gun. Capable of in-flight weapons system simulation, with generation of synthetic threats and targets. Also suitable as companion trainer in squadrons operating advanced fighters.
Mako-LCA: Light combat aircraft. Multirole fighter with F1 single-seat (air-to-air) and F2 two-seat (air-to-ground) versions. Modular systems concept allows aircraft to be tailored to customer's requirements. EADS perceives a world market for 1,600 light combat aircraft between 2009 and 2030.
CUSTOMERS: Predicted 400 sales by 2030, of which 40 per cent would be trainer version. Entered (1999) in Brazilian F-X BR fighter replacement competition (to replace Mirage III and F-5E). MoUs signed with UAE November 1999 and March 2001, but these do not involve payment. Candidate for 'Eurotraining' (AEJPT) initiative. Initial wave of international orders anticipated in 2008-2012, with second period of high interest foreseen in 2018.
COSTS: Estimated development cost US$1,300 million; unit cost US$15 million to US$22 million.
DESIGN FEATURES: Modular design for ease of meeting different roles; simple structure permits low production cost. Conventional configuration described as 'transonic layout with supersonic performance'. Advanced trainer version is capable of combat missions, employing LO technology and optional thrust vectoring. LO features include chined forward section, wing/forebody blending and 'caret' engine air intakes.
Wing leading-edge sweep 45o.
FLYING CONTROLS: Reprogrammable quadruplex digital FBW FCS with 'carefree handling'. Large, single-section flaperons; all-moving tailplane (tailerons); inset rudder; and full-span wing leading-edge slats. Four door-type airbrakes adjacent to jetpipe.
STRUCTURE: Centre-fuselage of aluminium; wing-, taileron- and fin skins of carbon fibre.
LANDING GEAR: Retractable tricycle type; single wheel on each leg.
POWER PLANT: One Eurojet EJ200 turbofan; installed derated to 75.0 kN (16,860 lb st) with afterburning; optionally with thrust vectoring (provision for which is made in the FCS and airframe structure); or with full afterburning (approximately 90 kN; 20,250 lb st), according to customer's requirement. General Electric F414 and SNECMA M88-2 or -3 under consideration as alternative power plants. FCS incorporates provision for vectoring nozzle. Single-seater carries 3,300 kg (7,275 lb) of internal fuel; trainer has 3,000 kg (6,614 lb).
ACCOMMODATION: One or two pilots, according to version; layout and instrumentation generally as in Eurofighter Typhoon. Twin-seater has stepped cockpits, with 15o view over nose and 40o each side; seats inclined rearwards at 18o. Integral windscreen/front cockpit canopy slides forward; rear canopy slides aft.
SYSTEMS: OBOGS. APU. Optional OBIGGS.
AVIONICS: Radar: Optional 'AN/APG-67 class' multimode radar; other contenders include FIAR Grifo, Thales Avionics RD-400 and BAE Systems Bluehawk.
Instrumentation: Three MFDs in each cockpit, reflecting modern combat aircraft (such as Eurofighter) environment. Modular concept to allow easy upgrade or tailoring to individual customer requirements. Expected to include provision for FLIR, HMS and similar equipment.
Mission: Embedded in-flight simulation for combat training.
ARMAMENT: Optional Mauser BK 27 mm internal gun and seven low RCS external stores hardpoints: one at each wingtip, two under each wing and one below centreline. Centreline and inboard wing pylons stressed to 1,350 kg (2,976 lb); outboard to 675 kg (1,488 lb); wingtip for AAM only.