The roll-out ceremony for the first of eight Polish Air Force M-346 trainers 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 Leonardo-Finmeccanica Aircraft Managing Director Filippo Bagnato.
The aircraft will now undergo a flight test programme to certify bespoke systems chosen by the Polish Air Force such as the brake parachute. It will 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 — which were ordered in 2014 to replace the TS-11 Iskra — 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 Israel (30), Italy (18, including an additional eight aircraft ordered in March), Singapore (12) and Poland (8) for a total of 68 orders.