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The Aermacchi MB-339 is an advanced jet trainer and light attack aircraft developed specifically for the Italian Air Force to replace the MB-326. The original version began deliveries in 1979 with the final MB-339A being delivered to the Italian Air Force in 1995. There have been various versions of the MB-339 produced including the modernised MB-339C/CD for Italy which also posses a light attack capability plus the specialised aerobatic MB-339PAN built specifically for the Frecce Tricolori display team. The MB-339 has proved popular with a number of air forces including New Zealand who received their aircraft in 1991. Upon retiring their combat aircraft fleet in 2002, a number of RNZAF examples were acquired by Draken International who fly them as adversary aircraft.
The United Arab Emirates ordered 10 MB-339NATs which were used to equip their new display team, Al Fursan who were formed during 2010. Now renamed as the Fursan Al Emarat Squadron, the team perform their displays using seven MB-339s which are painted black and gold.
We are very pleased to announce that the Fursan Al Emarat Squadron will be performing their superb display on the Saturday and Sunday and this year's Air Tattoo. This will be the teams first appearance at RIAT since 2012. Photo Credit: Rich Cooper