To meet the Italian Army requirement for a short take off liaison aircraft, SIAI Marchetti modified the design of the Cessna Bird Dog with a new turboprop engine and a revised tail unit. The prototype first flew on May 24, 1969 powered by a 317HP Allison 250B15C turboprop engine.
Two-seat STOL light monoplane. Suitable for observation, light ground attack or utility duties. 80 SM. 1019’s were produced for the Italian Army light Aviation. Optional armament or equipment on two under wing hard points included 70mm rocket launchers, gun pods, missiles, bombs, auxiliary fuel tanks or a reconnaissance pod.