Air Force

M346 - The Cornerstone Of The Polish-Italian Training System Which Is Going To Be Used By Other European States?

Photo by Alenia Aermaccchi
Photo by Alenia Aermaccchi

Polish Dęblin Air Force Academy may soon become a training centre for the air forces from all over Europe, as it is stated by the representatives of the Alenia Aermacchi company. While presenting the capabilities that are provided by the advanced, digital training system which includes the M-346 Master trainer jet, the manufacturer also showcased the paint scheme for the first example of the jet which is going to be delivered for the Polish Air Force.

The Polish examples of M-346 will be painted in a way which resembles the other fighters utilized by the Air Force: F-16 Jastrząb and MiG-29. The first Polish Master is going to receive tactical number 7701, the next one is going to be numbered as 7702 and so on. Assembly process related to the aircraft which are going to be used by the Polish air force is going to be started in November. At the same time, the Polish instructor pilots will begin their training at the Italian Lecce-Galatina Air Base. In total, 16 pilots are going to go through the three-step training course.

M-346 Master Polska
Fot. Alenia Aermacchi

At the same time, ground elements of the training system are going to be created in Dęblin, including the flight-planning and mission analysis stations, mission simulator, ejection simulator, along with a computerized training system. Poland – in total – ordered 8 examples of the M-346A jets. Next 4 Masters may be acquired as an option, in the future. The deliveries are scheduled to start in 2016.

In this way, Poland is going to become, besides Italy, the only European user of the Master jets which were developed in order to economically product pilot’s training, and which feature the cockpit layout which is resembling the cockpits utilized in case of the F-16, Eurofighter Typhoon or even the F-35.

According to the representatives of the Alenia Aermacchi company, this makes it possible for the Polish Air Force Academy to expand its offer, as it may become one of the European training centres which would organize 5-generation jets pilots’ training for the third countries. Training costs, if the M-346 Master jets are being used, are going to be greatly reduced in comparison with training conducted with the use of twin-seater full-sized fighters, such as the F-16D.

Besides the above, the state-of-the art jets, such as the F-35, often do not have their twin-seater variant. Meanwhile, not only does the M-346 have the cockpit layout and flight characteristics close to the fighter jets, the Italian aircraft also features a data transmission system which makes it possible for the trainer to cooperate with the Eurofighter Typhoon jets, e.g. in a role of an aggressor in simulated air combat.

Thanks to the above, as Constantino Panvini Rosati – Senior Vice President International Sales of the Alenia Aermacchi company – states, the Polish Dęblin centre, along with the Italian Lecce-Galatina air base, both of which are going to be equipped with the M-346 Master trainers, may become the main advanced fighter pilot training facilities in Europe. Using the Master jet in the pilot’s training process, in the way indicated above, is also placed within the area of interest of countries such as France, Germany or Romania and Bulgaria.