MX Brazilian Air Force Low-poly 3D model
In early 1977, the Italian Air Force issued a requirement for 187 new-build strike fighters, which were to replace its existing Aeritalia G.91 in the close air support and reconnaissance missions, as well as the F-104 Starfighter being used for the interdiction role and for tactical duties. Rather than competing for the contract, Aeritalia (now Alenia Aeronautica) and Aermacchi agreed to make a joint proposal, as both firms had been considering the development of a similar class of aircraft for some years. Aermacchi had worked on a design study for a light ground attack aircraft, designated MB-340, during the early 1970s. Development work on the joint venture began in April 1978. The detailed definition phase of the project was completed in March 1980.