Global M-346 Fleet Reaches 100,000 Flight Hours



The Italian Air Power M-346 ready with a particular tail paint scheme to have fun the 100,000 flight hours milestone. (Picture: Alessandro Maggia)

Since 2015, 85 plane entered service in 5 international locations and the fleet is ready to broaden with new plane already on order by new operators.

The worldwide fleet of Leonardo M-346 Superior Jet Trainers lately reached 100,000 flight hours flown since it first entered service in 2015. The essential milestone was celebrated on November 30, 2022 through the M-346 Joint Consumer Group, hosted this 12 months by the Polish Air Power in Warsaw. At present, 85 M-346s are in service around the globe, however the fleet is ready to broaden much more with extra air forces choosing the M-346 for superior coaching and the multirole Fighter Attack variant of the plane to allow value efficient fight operations.

For the event, a M-346 obtained a particular tail paint scheme with the silhouette 4 M-346 and the markings for the 100,000 flight hours of the M-346 AJT, whereas the rudder exhibits the roundels of the air forces of Italy, Singapore, Israel, Poland, Qatar and the emblem of the joint Leonardo-Italian Air Power Worldwide Flight Coaching Faculty. It’s attention-grabbing to note the absence of Turkmenistan among the many roundels and within the press launch, nonetheless it is likely to be as a result of reality that the country operates the Fighter Attack variant and never the usual Superior Jet Coach. Furthermore, Leonardo has by no means formally acknowledged the Turkmen Air Power as an operator of the Grasp.

“We’re very proud to have fun this essential milestone, achieved by M-346 plane in-service with the Air Forces of Italy, Israel, Singapore, Poland, Qatar and the Italy-based Worldwide Flight Coaching Faculty, a joint initiative between the Italian Air Power and Leonardo in collaboration with CAE,” mentioned Dario Marfè, Leonardo director for Plane Industrial & Buyer Service. “With 85 plane in service and 100,000 hours flown, the cutting-edge M-346 has cemented its place because the world’s finest superior jet coach for in the present day and tomorrow’s fighter pilots. On the forefront of jet coaching know-how, the M-346 will proceed to characterize one of the simplest ways to develop a fighter pilot’s abilities for many years to return.”

Three Polish M-346 Bielik flying a formation coaching mission. (Picture: Polish Air Power)

Leonardo has been contracted to ship greater than 100 M-346 plane to main worldwide air forces, together with these of Italy, Israel, Poland, Singapore, Qatar and Greece, which is ready to create an international training centre in cooperation with Israel. The M-346 can be the spine of the Italian Air Power and Leonardo’s International Flight Training School (IFTS), the place pilots from international locations together with Japan, Germany, Qatar and Singapore are coaching in the present day. The IFTS is ready to broaden much more with the incoming transfer from Lecce-Galatina Air Base to Decimomannu Air Base.

“Tons of of pilots have earned their wings on the M-346, equipping them with an excellent stage of information, abilities and expertise and readying them to fly essentially the most superior frontline fighters,” mentioned Emanuele Merlo, Leonardo director for Plane Trainers line of enterprise. “This achievement has been potential due to nice teamwork between operators, Leonardo and our suppliers.”

As we regularly reported, the M-346 introduced many new applied sciences to enhance the coaching of future 4th and fifth gen fighter pilots. Amongst these there are superior simulations of radar, datalinks, concentrating on pods and all type of sensors discovered on trendy fighters which, coupled with excessive thrust-to-weight ratio, supersonic velocity at excessive altitude and glorious maneuverability permit the pilots to develop all the abilities they want before moving to the Operational Conversion Units.

The state-of-the-art Floor-Based mostly Coaching System enhance much more the worth of the coaching supplied, 5hanks to the 2 Full Mission Simulators and three Half Job Coach artificial simulators for emergency administration coaching modules and extra superior coaching missions. These simulators permit built-in coaching situations between simulated and actual plane, due to Live Virtual and Constructive (LVC) technologies which permit college students on the bottom to work together with pilots within the air throughout a coaching mission. The true and the digital worlds merge right into a single operational state of affairs on this built-in simulation setting, with as much as 10 pleasant and enemy plane capable of work together as in the event that they have been all flying in the identical patch of sky.

Let’s not overlook that the M-346 is nicely appreciated additionally by the U.S. Air Power, which  was contemplating it for as alternative for the growing old T-38C after a number of visits to Lecce-Galatina Air Base the place officers have been proven the traits of this superior coach. The Air Power additionally certified the training process of the Polish Air Force future F-16 and F-35 pilots with the M-346 as analogous to the coaching on the T-38 as much as the IFF (Introduction for Fighter Fundamentals) stage.

An Israeli M-346 Lavi throughout a solo coaching flight. (Picture: Israeli Air Power)

Within the press statement released by Leonardo, representatives of the three main operators gave their feedback concerning the expertise with the plane, which you will discover right here following.

Italian Air Power, Commander of the 61st Wing, Colonel Vito Conserva:

“100,000 flight hours represents a rare achievement for an equally extraordinary plane. The T-346A presents efficiency and technological traits that, along with its simulation programs, have allowed us, from 2015 to the current day, to realize a major improve within the high quality of coaching for fighter pilots. This platform, along with the dedication displayed every day by the women and men of the flight college, has consolidated the 61st Wing as a centre of excellence within the coaching sector worldwide. It has additionally given us the chance to offer a singular provide globally, a lot in order that, in full synergy with nationwide business, we’ve got succeeded in creating the foundations and shaping the Worldwide Flight Coaching Faculty, a cutting-edge entity of which we’re proud to be an element.”

Israeli Air Power, Col. Roman Kupershmid Head of Plane Division Israeli Air Power

“The IAF is worked up to be a part of 100,000 flight hours achieved by the M-346 worldwide fleet, with greater than 50,000 flight hours in our fleet and eight years of profitable flight academy programs qualification. We’re glad to function the M-346 superior coaching plane. We’ll proceed to work along with the Leonardo workforce and all business companions to make sure the continuation of the fleet operation.”

Polish Air Power, second Lt Marlena Kuna, performing spokesman for 4th Wing of Coaching Aviation

“Lately Leonardo has delivered the final batch of the M-346 ordered. Due to this, the scale of the Polish fleet is presently 16 plane, which is a full squadron of “Bielik”.

The primary M-346 superior jet trainers appeared in Poland in 2016. Since then, they’ve been used on the forty first Coaching Aviation Base in Dęblin to teach cadets of the Army Aviation Academy. The AJT (Superior Jet Coach) system, applied within the 4th Wing of Coaching Aviation in Dęblin, is without doubt one of the most trendy pilot coaching programmes on the planet. It’s value mentioning right here the certification of the coaching course of for jet pilots, which was carried out by a workforce of pilots from the US Air Power within the 4th Wing of Coaching Aviation. The assessments confirmed that the Polish system of coaching F-16 pilots on the M-346 “Bielik” is analogous to the American coaching programme on the T-38 as much as the IFF (Introduction for Fighter Fundamentals) stage. Due to this, the Polish Air Power turned impartial from the pricey coaching of future pilots within the USA and gained the competence to teach them full-time within the nation. It needs to be emphasised that equipping the 41BLSz (forty first Coaching Aviation Base) with M-346 “Bielik” plane will make it simpler sooner or later to carry out flights on fifth era plane, such because the F-35s bought for the Polish Air Power.”

Stefano D’Urso is a contract journalist and contributor to TheAviationist based mostly in Lecce, Italy. A graduate in Industral Engineering he is additionally finding out to realize a Grasp Diploma in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions and OSINT strategies utilized to the world of navy operations and present conflicts are amongst his areas of experience.


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