The plane can be assigned to the brand new worldwide coaching heart that can be established in Kalamata.
The primary Leonardo M-346 Master advanced jet trainer for Greece flew for the primary time with full Hellenic Air Drive markings on April 3, 2023, from Leonardo’s plant in Venegono. Aviation photographer Tiziano Capenti captured the plane because it was getting back from the check flight and kindly shared the picture with us.
The plane carried out its first check flight in primer paint in late January, but it surely has now acquired a typical low-visibility livery with the HAF roundel on the fuselage and the Greek flag on the tail, accompanied by the tail quantity 250. The plane sports activities the Italian experimental serial CSX55277. Additionally, the outer modern slats are painted in a high-visibility blue colour.
As we reported in 2021, Greece is making a joint international school with Israel at Kalamata Air Base, house of the one hundred and twentieth Air Coaching Wing.
Elbit Methods has been chosen for the creation of the college and can be in control of the availability and operation of ten M-346 Leonardo Jet trainers, in addition to the upkeep of the HAF T-6 Texan II fleet.
Based on Greek media retailers, works are continuing quickly, with the development of the primary coaching constructing quickly to be accomplished and the brand new logistics heart and help for the T-6 coach plane already working. New delicate shelters have additionally been constructed to host the M-346 fleet.
The aim of the challenge is to mannequin the flight faculty at Kalamata after the Israeli Air Drive’s flight academy, which is closely supported by Elbit and uses the T-6 and the M-346, whereas additionally permitting different international locations to ship their pilots to be skilled in Greece. The contract quantities to € 1.375 billion over 22 years, with the flexibility to supply greater than 3,500 flight hours yearly with the M-346 and an unspecified quantity with the T-6.
The HAF has been working for a complete renovation of the coaching as new superior plane like the F-16 Block 70/72, the Rafale and the F-35 be part of the fighter fleet, and thus changing the out of date T-2E Buckeye (of which 40 had been purchased and fewer than 10 are nonetheless operational) and restoring the T-6A Texan II (45 purchased however with restricted availability as a result of the dearth of help).
A timeline for the contract has not been disclosed but, nevertheless the help for the T-2E is ready to finish in 2023, so it’s doubtless that the brand new flight faculty goals to start operations with the new M-346 by that timeframe. Greek medias reported that the T-2 can be changed by the leasing of latest plane, so it’s doable that the brand new Masters can be owned and operated by Elbit as a substitute of the HAF, though they are going to put on the nationwide insignia.
Thanks once more to Tiziano Capenti for the picture he despatched us and ensure to follow him on Instagram, Fb or Twitter @aplace2land for extra!