Leonardo launches first M-346 fighter trainer aircraft for Polish Air Force

8 June 2016 (Last Updated June 8th, 2016 18:30)

Leonardo-Finmeccanica has launched the first of eight M-346 fighter trainer aircraft for the Polish Air Force.

Leonardo

Leonardo-Finmeccanica has launched the first of eight M-346 fighter trainer aircraft for the Polish Air Force.

The Polish Air Force had placed an order for eight Aermacchi M-346s in 2014.

Deliveries under the order will be completed by November 2017, the company said.

The first Leonardo-built Aermacchi M-346 will be delivered by the end of this year along with a second aircraft, following flight tests.

The flight test programme will validate bespoke systems chosen by the Polish Air Force such as the brake parachute.

Leonardo-Finmeccanica CEO and general manager Mauro Moretti said: "Leonardo-Finmeccanica is the only company in the world able to offer a complete technological solution that reduces pilot training times and prepares them to fly sophisticated, new-generation military aircraft.

"Today, many countries are turning their attention to integrated training systems that include both aircraft and ground-based simulation systems.

"These capabilities already have a proven track record at the Italian Air Force's training centre in Galatina (near Lecce) where 11 Nato and Allied Air Forces are trained; pilots obtain their licences via systems and aircraft built by Leonardo-Finmeccanica."

The M-346's embedded tactical training simulation (ETTS) enables the emulation of sensors, countermeasures and armament.

"Today, many countries are turning their attention to integrated training systems that include both aircraft and ground-based simulation systems."

The aircraft is fitted with helmet mounted display, vocal control inputs, in-flight refuelling probe and pylons for up to 3,000kg of external loads.

Furthermore, it can be equipped with electronic warfare and data link systems, radar signature reduction kits or multi-mode radar.

The Air Force's 4th Training Wing Squadron based at Deblin base in Poland will operate the M-346s. The base aims to become an international hub for the training of military pilots.

Italy, Israel, Singapore and Poland have ordered a total of 68 Aermacchi M-346s.


Image: An Aermacchi M-346 advanced trainer aircraft. Photo: courtesy of Leonardo Finmeccanica Società per azioni.