Polish Ministry of Defence Acquires Extra M346 Masters for the Air Force


The Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD and the Leonardo company signed an agreement covering the acquisition of additional four M-346 Master AJT’s. They are known in Poland under the name Bielik.

According to a release issued by Leonardo, the agreement value is shaped at the level of EUR 115 million. The contract covers delivery of four M-346 Master AJT platforms, expected to be finalized until October 2020. The delivery is to include a support package too. The Agreement also envisages optional procurement of another four airframes until 2022.

At the moment the Polish Air Force has eight Master Advanced Jet Trainers at its disposal. The aircraft, known under the name Bielik, have been delivered on the basis of a contract that was signed back in 2014. The aforesaid contract had a value of PLN 1.167 billion. The original agreement also included delivery of a comprehensive AJT training system, along with spares and expendables, technical support, IT suite for technical support and full scope of technical documentation.

Inclusion of the M-346 Master jet trainers in the inventory of the Polish Air Force had been delayed due to the fact that initially the jet had no ability to simulate some elements of the ordnance, in line with the agreement provisions. Ultimately, the handing off procedure was finalized until the end of 2017. Contractual penalties were also imposed on the manufacturer, as a result of the delay. It was suggested, after the contract was signed, that settlement of the new contract does not include the contractual penalties applicable to formerly signed document.

The Armament Inspectorate of the Polish MoD announced its will to procure another four Masters in January this year. Introduction of the said type would, in practical terms, translate into replacement of the old TS-11 Iskra trainers.