Fuselage of the Polish M-346 Master AJT Signed. “From the Italian land to Poland”

25 lutego 2016, 13:46
Image Credit: J. Sabak/Defence24.pl
Image Credit: J. Sabak/Defence24.pl
Image Credit: J. Sabak/Defence24.pl
Image Credit: J. Sabak/Defence24.pl

General Mirosław Różanski, General Commander of the Polish Armed Forces, signed the fuselage of the first M-346 Master jet trainer which is going to be received by the Polish Air Force. The event took place at the Finmeccanica-Alenia Aermacchi facility in Venegono Superiore, Italy. The jet entered the last phase of production, the aim of which is to complete the fuselage. It is planned that the aircraft is received by the 41st Training Aviation Base in Dęblin in November this year. 

The event, besides the General Commander of the Armed Forces, additionally involved the Air Force Inspector, General Tomasz Drewniak, and commander of the 41st Training Aviation Base in Dęblin, Col. Paweł Smereka. Besides the act of signing the fuselage of the jet which is being assembled, General Różanski also placed a quote from the Polish anthem on the surface of the aircraft, “From the Italian land to Poland”, referring to the trip, the jet is going to make soon. The initial four AJT aircraft ordered by Poland are currently at various assembly stages at the Venegono Superiore facility.

READ MORE:M346 - The Cornerstone Of The Polish-Italian Training System For The Whole Europe?

Two examples are going to be ready for their maiden flights in May this year. They should land in Dęblin at the end of November 2016. Next jets will be assembled and delivered later. According to the information released by Finmeccanica Aircraft Division, Masters No. 3 and No. 4 shall be assembled by the end of February 2017. Next examples are expected to be completed in May and October 2017.

The first six Polish instructor pilots, who are to fly the Master, are currently involved in a training course in Italy. These experienced pilots who have logged 2-3 thousand hours in the air have just begun their training at the Lecce-Galatina Airbase. 16 members of the ground crew were also trained, while another 26 are currently learning about the new jet in Italy.

However, works related to accommodation of the new aircraft are also being realized in Poland. Hangars and the required infrastructure are being constructed in Dęblin. The new training centre will also feature simulators, allowing the student-pilots to fuse their training and the acquired skills in the air and on the ground.

We are also buying a full training package. The trainer is going to be only an another jet, some of the pilots will carry out their tasks in the simulators, directly cooperating with the jets in the air, not only with the M-346, but also with our F-16 fighters. (…) The fact that these aircraft may be used in combat as well is also very important. Should we have to use them in combat, this will be possible. Not only does it mean that the training system is going to be improved, but also that potential of the Air Force will be bolstered.

General Mirosław Różański in his statement quoted by the Polish Press Agency

Polandin totalordered 8 examples of M-346A jets. Next 4 Masters may be acquired as an option, in the future. The contract, the value of which is contained in an amount of PLN 1,167 million, besides the aircraft, also includes the logistics package, spare parts and technical support and consumables, along with an IT support suite and full technical documentation, has been signed back in February 2014.

Having an advanced AJT system at its disposal, along with modern infrastructure, will allow the 4th Training Aviation Wing to join the group of the most modern aviation training facilities in Europe.

Six pilots involved in the Italian training programme are going to become the ones who will be flying the initial batch of the M-346 jets next year. The jets will be based in Dęblin. This is going to mark the moment of opening a new chapter in the history of the Polish Air Force Academy.

 

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