SIAI-Marchetti S.211

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Privately owned S.211 N852TC in flight.jpg
N852TC, a privately owned S.211 in flight
Role Basic jet trainer / Light attack aircraft
National origin Italy
Manufacturer SIAI-Marchetti
First flight 10 April 1981
Introduction 1984
Status Active service with the Philippine Air Force
Primary users Republic of Singapore Air Force (historical)
Philippine Air Force
Haitian Air Force (historical)
Produced 1981–1994
Number built ~60
Unit cost
$1.2 million (in 1981 dollars)[1]
Developed into Alenia Aermacchi M-345

The SIAI-Marchetti S.211 (later Aermacchi S-211 is a turbofan-powered military trainer aircraft designed and originally marketed by SIAI-Marchetti. Some 60 aircraft have been sold to air forces around the world. Aermacchi bought the production rights in 1997. The redesigned M-311 (now M-345) is currently under development by Alenia Aermacchi.

Design and development[edit]

SIAI-Marchetti began work on the aircraft in 1976 as a private venture basic trainer, hoping to offer it to the company's existing customer base of small air forces operating their piston-engined SF.260. Formally announced in Paris the following year, interest was strong enough to justify the construction of two prototypes, the first of which flew on 10 April 1981. The Singapore Air Force placed the first order for ten aircraft in 1983.[2]

The S-211 is a small tandem two-seat shoulder-wing monoplane with a retractable tricycle landing gear and powered by a single Pratt & Whitney Canada JT15D-4C turbofan.[2] Also, the aircraft was designed for a secondary close air support capability with four underwing hardpoints for the carriage of weapons and other external stores.[2]

The S-211A was a slightly modified and updated variant of the S-211, was a losing contender in the USA's Joint Primary Aircraft Training System (JPTATS) aircraft selection. Among the seven to enter, the Raytheon/Pilatus entry won, which became the T-6 Texan II. The S-211 team was initially partnered with Grumman, and then Northrop Grumman after 1994.

Philippine Air Force S-211 Developments[edit]

Since the 1990s, the Philippine Air Force has been using the S-211 as a Trainer with secondary Attack Capability. These were redesignated as AS-211s and nicknamed as "Warriors".[3] With the retirement of the F-5 fighters in 2005, the additional task of air defense was assigned to it as well. Because of this, the Philippine Air Force initiated some improvements to the AS-211s to improve its combat capability through a series of programs and innovations.

The first program was called "Project Falcon" which installed the Norsight Optical Sight from retired F-5s into the AS-211. The program was initiated by Lieutenant Colonel Enrique Dela Cruz, the Group Commander of the 5th Tactical Fighter Group.[3] This was followed by the "Project Falcon Uniform" program which repainted the aircraft with a 2-tone Light and Dark Ghost Gray paint scheme along with low visibility markings to reduce their overall visibility.[3]

The "Project Falcon Hear" program saw the optimizing of air-ground communications on the AS-211 by upgrading and installing the AN/ARC-34 UHF radios from the F-5A/B.[3] These aircraft were also fitted with a Belly Gun Pod designed, developed and manufactured by Philippine company Aerotech Industries Philippines, Inc. (AIPI). Each Pod is equipped with an M3 .50 cal Machine Gun, an automatic charger and approximately 240 rounds of .50 cal ammunition.[4]


Original production version with total of approximately sixty built and was operated by the air forces of Haiti, Philippines and Singapore.[5]
Proposed version developed with input from Grumman for the JPATS (two prototypes, converted from two former Haitian S-211 aircraft).[5]
Served as trainers with secondary combat capability with the Philippine Air Force and were nicknamed as "Warriors". Starting in 2005, these aircraft were upgraded by fitting the Norsight Optical Sight and AN/ARC-34s from retired F-5s.[3] It is also equipped with a .50 caliber belly gun pod made by Aerotech.[4]
Modernized and uprated version announced by Aermacchi in 2004 (two prototypes built).[5]


Military operators[edit]

Lynn Garrison with Haitian Corps d’Aviation Marchetti and crew, September 1990
RSAF 130Sqn's S.211 (9V-382) in flight circa 1988, this aircraft was subsequently written off after an accident in 2006
  • Haitian Air Force (HAF) – Four aircraft were delivered in June 1985, they were retired and put up for sale on 23 April 1990.[6]
  • Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) – total of 32 aircraft including 24 assembled locally by Singapore Aircraft Industries and two former Haitian aircraft were acquired as attrition replacements.[5] The aircraft were based in, and flight training undertaken, in Australia.
    • 130 Sqn – 25 airframes in operational use (7 airframes were write-offs due to accidents).[5] These were replaced by the Pilatus PC-21 from end 2008.[9] After retirement, four were shipped back to Singapore being preserved for museum display and as educational/instructional airframes, while the remaining 21 airframes (including one airframe that had been used for spare parts) were sold off to International Air Parts (IAP) Group Australia Pty Ltd in 2009.[5]
    • 131 Sqn – disbanded in 1996, following the move of RSAF Flight Training School to RAAF Base Pearce in Bullsbrook, Western Australia, all remaining aircraft transferred to the former.[10]

Civilian operators[edit]

  • 21 ex-RSAF S-211s were retired and sold to the IAP Group Australia in December 2009 (including a cannibalised airframe), fifteen have since been sold off and placed on the Australian civil registry.[5][11][12]
 United States
  • Two second-hand aircraft (ex-Haitian AF) are operated by private companies.[13][14]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

  • On 14 January 2002, Philippine Air Force S-211 #017 crashed into houses inside the National Food Authority compound in Brgy. M.S.Garcia, Cabanatuan City, Nueva Ecija, due to mechanical problems after making several low passes over Cabanatuan during a contact proficiency flight from Basa AB. Both pilots and 3 civilians on the ground were killed.[15]
  • On 26 November 2007, Philippine Air Force S-211 #804 went missing after it failed to return to Palawan base after a security patrol and search mission over the disputed Kalayaan Islands in the south China sea, both pilots still missing and their fate remains unknown.[16]
  • On July 19, 2010, Philippine Air Force S-211 #024 crashed in Concepcion, Tarlac. The 2 pilots, Maj. Wilfredo Donato and 1Lt. Jose Wilbert Leonides Martinez, ejected and landed safely. The aircraft was reportedly low on fuel, which could have caused the crash.[17]
  • On 28 April 2011, Philippine Air Force S-211 #020 crashed in Bagac, Bataan after making several aerobatic maneuvers over the shoreline during a contact proficiency flight from Clark Air Base.[citation needed] Investigators later found out that the aircraft entered into a high-G recovery maneuver from a loop that caused the engine to go into a high-G stall and crashed less than a hundred meters from the shoreline with no survivors.

Aircraft on display[edit]

After retirement, 9V-384 was preserved as a gate guard in the Republic of Singapore Air Force Museum at Paya Lebar Air Base.

Specifications (S-211)[edit]

Profil Aermacchi (SIAI-Marchetti) S.211.png

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1988–89[21]

General characteristics



See also[edit]

Related development
Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era


  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Aircraft (Part Work 1982–1985). Orbis Publishing. 
  • Taylor, John W R (1988). Janes All the World's Aircraft 1988–89. Coulsdon, Surrey, UK: Jane's. ISBN 0-7106-0867-5. 

External links[edit]