Leonardo And Airbus Announce Joint M-346 Integrated Training System Collaboration

Leonardo Airbus M-346


Leonardo Airbus M-346
An Italian Air Drive M-346 coach prepares for a mission. (Photograph: Stefano D’Urso)

The 2 corporations signed a Memorandum of Understanding at Paris Air Present 2023 to pursue alternatives on the European Superior Coach market and research options for future army pilot coaching.

Leonardo and Airbus have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collectively promote built-in coaching techniques and research the long run options to deal with Air Dominance challenges. The brand new collaboration was introduced on June 21, 2023 in the course of the third day of the Paris Air Present 2023 at Le Bourget airport.

The 2 corporations agreed to collectively tackle and pursue enterprise alternatives for the availability of superior coaching techniques on the European Superior Coach market, leveraging on the Leonardo M-346’s confirmed expertise, due to over 100,000 flight hours performed worldwide by the aircraft. In accordance with the press assertion, the European market  will account for greater than 400 new plane deliveries within the subsequent 20 years, plus an extra 12 billion € for the availability of superior pilots coaching providers.

The assertion

“A powerful, modern and aggressive defence trade is a prerequisite for strengthening the European defence surroundings and for attaining the specified ‘strategic autonomy’”, mentioned Jean-Brice Dumont, Head of Navy Air System Airbus. “Leonardo is globally acknowledged as a key participant within the army pilot coaching enterprise phase and we imagine our synergies might give the appropriate reply to our buyer necessities”.

Airbus and Leonardo mentioned they may even discover deepening ties and industrial cooperation to deal with future army pilot coaching domains, primarily based on cooperation and synergies on particular platforms and packages and within the framework of a broader European and Worldwide collaboration. Let’s not neglect that each corporations are closely concerned within the European sixth era plane packages, with Airbus engaged on the Future Combat Air System (FCAS) and Leonardo engaged on the World Fight Air Programme (GCAP).

Additionally, Leonardo not too long ago inaugurated the brand new, expanded campus of the International Flight Training School (IFTS), which, in the mean time, is just not concerned within the collaboration.

An Italian Air Drive M-346 coach takes off from Lecce-Galatina air base for a coaching mission. (Photograph: Stefano D’Urso)

A rising market

Given the quantity of cutting-edge technologies involved, each corporations imagine air energy renewal and rising tendencies demand the complete capability of the present most superior options and the accelerated improvement of latest capabilities and applied sciences for fighter pilot effectiveness administration, together with aircrew and floor crew coaching as one of many key items to protecting fighter pilots proficient with the flexibility to train their expertise and readiness.

“With this settlement, Leonardo and Airbus mix their distinctive expertise and capabilities as a way to present European and Worldwide prospects with probably the most superior and efficient Built-in Coaching Methods options”, mentioned Marco Zoff, Leonardo’s Plane Division Managing Director. “Due to a standard expertise improvement roadmap primarily based on M-346 ITS, the 2 Firms may even progressively form superior capabilities for the long run air energy, by intercepting rising wants and forging modern options, to supply efficient next-generation fast-jet pilot coaching and operational readiness in advanced eventualities”.

What future for the Airbus Future Jet Coach?

Given this final assertion, some questions are left open relating to the destiny of the Airbus Future Jet Coach introduced in 2021 to satisfy coaching wants of fifth-generation and next-generation combat aircraft. The coach was initially being developed to satisfy the necessities of the Spanish Air Drive, with the European market additionally in thoughts, nonetheless no updates have been supplied within the final two years.


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


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