This lightweight, low-cost basic trainer and light attack aircraft was first revealed in the form of a model at the Paris Air Show in May/June 1977. Two flying prototypes were built initially, and the first of these (I-SITF) made its initial flight on 10 April 1981.
Deliveries of production S.211s began in November 1984, and orders for 40 had been placed by July 1985. Deliveries totalled 30 by February 1987, at which time further orders were being negotiated. Customers include the air forces of Singapore (30) and Haiti (4). The first six S.211s for Singapore were delivered in component knocked-down form for reassembly; subsequent aircraft are in kit form for assembly by SAMCO, a subsidiary of Singapore Aircraft Industries.
Features of the S.211 are its safe stalling and spinning characteristics, and the very low airframe weight, made possible by the fact that some 61 per cent of the external surfaces are made from composite materials.
In order to improve the S.211s operational capabilities a special nav/attack version, equipped with an advanced lightweight head-up display and navigation computer, is under development. No further details were available at the time of closing for press.
Joint development, with a partner in south-east Asia, of a lengthened version of the S.211 was announced at the Paris Air Show in June 1987.
The following description applies to the current production S.211:

TYPE: Two-seat basic trainer and light attack aircraft.

WINGS: Cantilever shoulder-wing monoplane, with supercritical section developed by computer with the assistance of the US universities of New York and Kansas. Thickness/chord ratio 15% at root, 13% at tip. Incidence 2° 13' at root, — 1° 17' at tip. Anhedral 2° from roots. Sweepback 15° 30' at quarter-chord. Two-spar metal torsion box structure, forming integral fuel tank; attached to fuselage by four bolts. Upper and lower skins each formed by two one-piece panels joined along centreline and to the spars. Hydraulically actuated ailerons, with electric trim, and large area electrically actuated Fowler flaps, on trailing-edges.

FUSELAGE: Conventional metal and glassfibre semi-monocoque structure. Hydraulically actuated airbrake under centre-fuselage. Equipment bay in nose. Large quick-disconnect panel at rear, for rapid engine access or removal.

TAIL UNIT: Cantilever metal structure. Sweptback fin; horn balanced rudder with electrically operated trim tab; electrically actuated variable incidence tailplane has sweptback leading-edge. Horn balanced elevators, with servo tab.

LANDING GEAR: Hydraulically retractable tricycle type, of Messier-Hispano-Bugatti/Magnaghi design. Oleo-pneumatic shock absorber in each unit. All units retract forward into fuselage (main units turning through 90° to lie flat in undersides of engine air intake trunks). Nosewheel steerable 18° left and right. Mainwheels size 6.50-8; nosewheel size 5.00-5 with water deflecting tyre. Designed for sink rate of 4 m (13 ft)/s. Wheel brakes actuated hydraulically, independently of main hydraulic system. Provision for emergency free-fall extension.

POWER PLANT: One 11.12 kN (2,500 lb st) Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-4D non-afterburning turbofan, with electronic fuel control, mounted in rear of fuselage; lateral intake each side of fuselage, with splitter plate. Fuel in 650 litre (171.7 US gallon; 143 Imp gallon) integral wing tank and 150 litre (39.6 US gallon; 33 Imp gallon) fuselage tank; total capacity 800 litres (211 US gallons; 176 Imp gallons). Single gravity refuelling point in top surface of starboard wing. Electric fuel pump for engine starting and emergency use. Fuel and oil systems permit inverted flight. Provision for two 270 litre (71.3 US gallon; 59.4 Imp gallon) drop tanks on inboard underwing stores points. Oil capacity 10 kg (22 lb).

ACCOMMODATION: Seats for two persons in tandem in pressurised and air-conditioned cockpit under one-piece framed canopy opening sideways to starboard: pupil in front, instructor on rear seat elevated 28 cm (11 in). Internal transparent screen between seats. Martin-Baker Mk 10 lightweight zero/zero ejection seats for both occupants.

SYSTEMS: Environmental control system for cockpit pressurisation and air-conditioning, using engine bleed air for heating, freon vapour for cooling. Max pressure differential 0.24 bars (3.5 lb/sq in). Hydraulic system, pressure 207 bars (3,000 lb/sq in), for actuation of airbrake, landing gear, freon compressor and aileron boost, and independent actuation of wheel brakes. Primary electrical system is 28V DC, using an engine driven starter/generator; nickel-cadmium battery; two static inverters supply AC power for instruments and avionics. External power receptacle in port side of lower fuselage aft of wing. Demand type main oxygen system, at 124 bars (1,800 lb/sq in) pressure, sufficient to supply both occupants for 4 hours, plus bottles for emergency oxygen supply.

AVIONICS AND EQUIPMENT: Standard avionics fit includes two V/UHF com, ADF, VOR/ILS and DME or Tacan, IFF or ATC, ICS, AHRS, HSI and AI, with full dual controls and handover. Provision for dual gyro stabilised gunsight system with miniaturised video recording or film camera. Additional provisions for R/Nav, radar altimeter, Doppler radar, head-up display, radar warning system and ECM.

ARMAMENT: Four underwing hardpoints, stressed for loads of up to 330 kg (727.5 lb) inboard, 165 kg (364 lb) outboard; max external load 660 kg (1,455 lb). Typical loads can include four single- or twin-gun 7.62 mm machine-gun pods, four 12.7 mm gun pods, or (inboard only) two 20 mm gun pods; four AL-18-50 (18 x 50 mm), Matra F2 (6 x 68 mm), LAU-32 (7 x 2.75 in), or AL-6-80 (6 x 81 mm) rocket launchers, or (inboard only) two Matra 155 (18 x 68 mm), SNORA RWK-020 (12 x 81 mm) or 100 mm rocket launchers; four bombs or practice bombs of up to 150 kg size, or (inboard only) two bombs or napalm containers of up to 300 kg; four 74 mm cartridge throwers; or (inboard only) two photo-reconnaissance pods each with four cameras and infra-red linescan; or (inboard only) two 270 litre (71.3 US gallon; 59.4 Imp gallon) auxiliary fuel tanks. Ferranti ISIS D-211 optical weapon aiming system optional (in aircraft for Haiti).