(a) The metal matrix composite is suitable for the manufacture of flat or shaped titanium aluminide, zirconium aluminide, or niobium aluminide articles and layered metal composites having improved mechanical properties such as lightweight plates and sheets for aircraft and automotive applications, thin cross-section vanes and airfoils, heat-sinking lightweight electronic substrates, bulletproof structures for vests, partition walls and doors, as well as sporting goods such as helmets, golf clubs, sole plates, crown plates, etc. The composite material consists of a metal (e.g., Ti, Zr, or Nb-based alloy) matrix at least partially intercalated with a three-dimensional skeletal metal aluminide structure, whereby ductility of the matrix metal is higher than that of the metal aluminide skeleton. The method for manufacturing includes the following steps: (a) providing an aluminum skeleton structure having open porosity of 50-95 vol. %, (b) filling said skeleton structure with the powder of a reactive matrix metal, (c) compacting the aluminum skeleton/matrix powder composite preform by cold rolling, cold die pressing, cold isostatic pressing, and/or hot rolling, (d) consolidating the initial or compacted composite preform by sintering, hot pressing, hot rolling, hot isostatic pressing, and/or hot extrusion to provide, at least partially, a reaction between aluminum skeleton and matrix metal powder, and (e) diffusion annealing followed by any type of heat treatment needed to provide predetermined mechanical and surface properties of the resulting metal matrix composite. The combination of ductile matrix and metal aluminide skeletal structure results in significant improvement of mechanical properties of the composite material, especially hot strength. This high-strength aluminide-based material can also be used as a core component in multilayer metal matrix composites.