The Italian Air Force has received into service it’s eighteenth and final T-346A advanced jet trainer aircraft, said in Leonardo’s announcement on 27 February.
According to the company, a delivery ceremony for the Italian Air Force’s eighteenth T-346A took place at Leonardo’s Aircraft Division site located at Venegono Superiore (Varese).
The M-346 aircraft, designated T-346A by the Italian Air Force, represents the spearhead of Galatina’s 61st Air Wing (Lecce) where Italian fighter pilots are trained together with personnel from other countries including the United States, Spain, France, Austria, The Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Argentina, Greece and Kuwait.
The M-346 ordered by the Italian Air Force, Republic of Singapore Air Force, Israeli Air Force and Polish Air Force is the basis of the T-100 Integrated Training System, the solution offered by Leonardo DRS in the T-X competition for the U.S. Air Force’s integrated training system programme.
The flight envelope, high thrust/weight ratio, the ability to develop high angles of attack and extreme manoeuvrability allow the M-346 to offer flight conditions comparable to those of new-generation combat aircraft. This maximises training effectiveness and reduces the need to fly sorties on the far more expensive and complex variants of frontline types.