The roll-out ceremony for the first of eight Polish Air Force M-346 aircraft took place today at Leonardo-Finmeccanica’s facility in Venegono-Superiore (near Varese). The event was attended by the Polish Deputy Defense Minister, Bartosz Kownacki, the State Under Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, Gioacchino Alfano, and by the Managing Director of Leonardo-Finmeccanica Aircraft, Filippo Bagnato.
Mauro Moretti, Chief Executive Officer and General Manager of Leonardo-Finmeccanica 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 first of 8 Aermacchi M-346 advanced trainers ordered by Poland in 2014 will now undergo a flight test programme to certify bespoke systems chosen by the Polish Air Force such as the brake parachute. It will then be delivered to the customer by the end of the year along with a second aircraft. Deliveries will be completed by November 2017.
The M-346s will enter into service with the 4th Training Wing Squadron at Poland’s Deblin base. With the M-346, the base aims to become an international hub for the training of military pilots.
The M-346 has been ordered by the Air Forces of Italy (18), Singapore (12), Israel (30) and Poland (8) for a total of 68 orders.