The first two Leonardo M346 «Bielik» advanced jet trainers for the Polish Air Force arrived at Polish Air Force Academy in Deblin on Monday 14 November 2016.
The M346s will enter into service with the 4th Training Wing Squadron at Poland’s Deblin base. With the M346, the base aims to become an international hub for the training of military pilots.
The M346 «Bielik» (also named Master) is an advanced and lead-in fifth-generation fighter trainer being developed by Alenia Aermacchi (Italy), a Finmeccanica company. The aircraft is a development of the YAK/AEM-130, a joint programme with Yakolev Design Bureau and Sokol Manufacturing Plant of Russia. In July 2000, Alenia Aermacchi announced that it would cancel the joint project and develop the aircraft alone, as the M-346.
The M346 has been ordered by the Air Forces of Italy (18), Singapore (12), Israel (30) and Poland (8) for a total of 68 orders.