Israeli Air Force takes delivery of last Aermacchi M-346 aircraft

12 June 2016 (Last Updated June 12th, 2016 18:30)

The Israeli Air Force has taken delivery of its last Aermacchi M-346 aircraft from Leonardo-Finmeccanica.

Israel Air Force

The Israeli Air Force has taken delivery of its last Aermacchi M-346 aircraft from Leonardo-Finmeccanica.

In 2012, the company signed a contract to replace Israel's A-4 Skyhawk, as well as provide maintenance, logistics, simulators and training.

According to Leonardo-Finmecannica, the first aircraft was shipped in 2014, and in less than two years all 30 aircraft had been delivered.

Israeli Ministry of Defence brigadier general Shmuel Tzuker said: "Israeli pilots are great advocates of the M-346 because the aircraft exceeds our highest expectations."

To date, the Air Force's M-346s have undertaken more than 10,000 flights over a total of 7,500 hours.

The aircraft's embedded tactical training simulation (ETTS) emulates sensors, countermeasures and armament.

"Israeli pilots are great advocates of the M-346 because the aircraft exceeds our highest expectations."

The M-346 is fitted with a helmet-mounted display, vocal control inputs, an in-flight refuelling probe, and pylons for external loads up to 3,000kg.

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

Leonardo-Finmeccanica CEO and general manager Mauro Moretti said: "The Aermacchi M-346 has established itself in all the major international competitions, and already trains pilots of the Italian, Israeli and Singapore Air Forces, considered amongst the most demanding in the world.

"Our trainer will now make its debut in Poland and is also a candidate for the US Air Force competition for 350 aircraft."

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


Image: The delivery forms a part of Israel's order signed in 2012. Photo: courtesy of Leonardo-Finmeccanica.