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AMX AMX International
(Aeritalia, Aermacchi, EMBRAER)
AMX / A-1
Light Attack Fighter

The AMX was originally conceived as a replacement for Italy's aging fleet of G91 and F-104 attack fighters. The project began when the Aeronautica Militare Italiana (Italian Air Force) began drawing up specifications for a light tactical attack fighter to complement the larger Tornado IDS. The new aircraft needed to fulfill a variety of tasks ranging from attack and reconnaissance to long-range anti-shipping and air combat duties. Aeritalia began developing an aircraft to meet these needs, and Aermacchi also joined the effort. The cooperation between these two firms resulted in the new plane being designated the AMX for Aeritalia Macchi Experimental.

In the meantime, the Força Aérea Brasileira (Brazilian Air Force) had formulated a similar need for a light jet to replace the AT-26 Xavantes. In 1980, the Brazilian manufacturer EMBRAER also joined the AMX program. The AMX then became a joint venture of three firms to develop a light attack fighter for both Italy and Brazil.

Although the AMX design that finally emerged emphasizes simplicity and low cost, performance has not been sacrificed. The AMX features a high-mounted swept wing with several high-lift devices. Coupling this wing with a powerful Rolls-Royce engine, license built in Italy, makes possible excellent short takeoff and landing capability. Both the wing and tail surfaces of the AMX have also been designed to operate at high angles of attack, and large control surfaces make for superb maneuverability.

The AMX designers also put great emphasis on upgradability, and a fuselage bay can be easily fitted with several types of reconnaissance palets or other mission-specific avionics. The AMX also makes use of rugged landing gear allowing operations from rough or damaged airfields. Although primarily an attack aircraft carrying bombs and air-to-surface missiles, the AMX is also armed with short-range Sidewinder missiles providing air defense capability.

By 1998, a total of 192 examples of the AMX, or the A-1 as it is known in Brazil, had been delivered. Italy had received 149 while Brazil had acquired 43 of 56 ordered. Venezuela also purchased 12 AMX-T trainers. By 2004, a total of 191 aircraft were in service with the three nations.

Last modified 17 March 2012

First Flight (AMX) 15 May 1984
(YA-1) 16 October 1985
(AMX-T) 14 March 1990
Service Entry

(AMX) April 1989
(A-1) 17 October 1989

CREW: one: pilot



Wing Root unknown
Wing Tip


Length 43.42 ft (13.23 m)
Wingspan 29.12 ft (8.87 m) excluding wingtip rails
32.71 ft (9.97 m) including wingtip rails
Height 14.94 ft (4.55 m)
Wing Area 226.04 ft² (21.00 m²)
Canard Area

not applicable

Empty 14,835 lb (6,730 kg)
Normal Takeoff unknown
Max Takeoff 28,660 lb (13,000 kg)
Fuel Capacity internal: 6,780 lb (3,075 kg)
external: 5,915 lb (2,680 kg) in two 290 gal (1,100 L) and two 155 gal (580 L) tanks
Max Payload

8,380 lb (3,800 kg)

Powerplant one Fiat/Piaggio/Alfa-Romero (Rolls-Royce) Spey RB168-807 turbofan
Thrust 11,030 lb (49.1 kN)

Max Level Speed at altitude: 585 mph (940 km/h) at 30,000 ft (9,145 m), Mach 0.86
at sea level: 640 mph (1,030 km/h), Mach 0.84
Initial Climb Rate 10,250 ft (3,125 m) / min
Service Ceiling 42,650 ft (13,000 m)
Range typical: 1,000 nm (1,850 km)
ferry: 1,800 nm (3,335 km)
g-Limits +7.33 / -3

Gun (AMX) one 20-mm M61A1 Vulcan cannon (350 rds)
(A-1) two 30-mm DEFA 544 cannons
Stations five external hardpoints and two wingtip rails
Air-to-Air Missile AIM-9 Sidewinder, Mol
Air-to-Surface Missile AGM-65 Maverick, Kormoran, Exocet, Marte
Bomb Mk 82/83/84 GP, M117 GP, cluster, electro-optical guided, Durandal, BAP.1000
Other Beluga cluster dispenser, rocket pods, reconnaissance packages

AMX Production single-seat light attack fighter for Italy; at least 110 built
YA-1 Single-seat Brazilian prototype
A-1 Single-seat light attack fighter for Brazil; 45 built
AMX-T Two-seat combat-capable trainer for Italy; at least 26 built
TA-1 or A-1B Two-seat combat-capable trainer for Brazil; 14 built
EW model Proposal to convert Italian AMX-T two-seat aircraft to an electronic combat model equipped with anti-radiation missiles, a jammer pod, and an electronic emissions locator system; 10 modified
Anti-ship model Proposal to develop a specialized anti-ship model with a new search radar and the ability to carry a variety of anti-ship missiles
Night-attack model Proposal to develop a model equipped with a FLIR, laser designator, and night vision goggles for night attack missions
Super AMX Proposed upgraded model with glass cockpit displays, updated avionics, GPS compatibility, helmet-mounted displays, a new radar, a new engine, and other enhancements


Bosnia - Operation Deliberate Force (Italy, 1995)
Kosovo - Operation Allied Force (Italy, 1999)


Brazil, Força Aérea Brasileira (Brazilian Air Force)
Italy, Aeronautica Militare Italiana (Italian Air Force)
Venezuela, Fuerza Aérea Venezolana (Venezuelan Air Force)



  • Bishop, Chris, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Military Weapons: The Comprehensive Guide to Over 1,000 Weapon Systems from 1945 to the Present Day. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1999, p. 267.
  • Donald, David and Lake, Jon, ed. The Encyclopedia of World Military Aircraft. NY: Barnes & Noble, 2000, p. 29-31, AMX International AMX.
  • Gunston, Bill, ed. The Encyclopedia of Modern Warplanes. NY: Barnes & Noble, 1995, p. 15, Aeritalia/Aermacchi/EMBRAER AMX.
  • Gunston, Bill and Spick, Mike. Modern Air Combat: The Aircraft, Tactics and Weapons Employed in Aerial Combat Today. NY: Crescent Books, 1983, p. 80-81.
  • Munro, Bob and Chant, Christopher. Jane's Combat Aircraft. Glasgow: Harper Collins Publishers, 1995, p. 44-45, AMX International AMX.
  • Paul Nann's Military Aviation Photo Gallery
  • Rendall, David. Jane's Aircraft Recognition Guide, 2nd ed. London: Harper Collins Publishers, 1999, p. 18, AMX.
  • Taylor, Michael. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1996/1997. London: Brassey's, 1996, p. 156-157, AMX International AMX/A-1.
  • Taylor, Michael J. H. Brassey's World Aircraft & Systems Directory 1999/2000. London: Brassey's, 1999, p. 131-132, AMX International AMX/A-1.

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