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Leonardo, Italian Air Force launch flight training initiative
M-346. © Leonardo

Leonardo, Italian Air Force launch flight training initiative

Leonardo’s CEO, Alessandro Profumo, and the Italian Air Force Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli, have signed an agreement to establish an all-new “International Flight Training School” (IFTS).

Leonardo’s CEO, Alessandro Profumo, and the Italian Air Force Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli, signed a collaboration agreement at the Farnborough Airshow that will strengthen the training services already offered by the Air Force’s 61st Wing and will establish an all-new “International Flight Training School” (IFTS) to support military pilot training.

The IFTS aims to ensure further growth and internationalisation of the Italian Air Force’s training school while at the same time increasing its capabilities and the range of pilot training solutions offered to customers.

The IFTS will leverage the existing training assets and expertise in advanced military pilot training of the Italian Air Force. In addition, Leonardo will supply four additional M-346 aircraft, new systems and services starting from 2019.

Based on the current plan, the IFTS will be able to deliver courses for Italian Air Force and international Air Force crews, fulfilling the training demands for military pilots worldwide. Starting from 2021, the Italian Air Force’s entire advanced and pre-operational training syllabus will be moved to a new, dedicated facility.

In order to maximize the success of this initiative, Leonardo has been in discussions with Babcock International and CAE, with the aim of reinforcing IFTS capabilities.

Leonardo’s integrated training system is based on the M-346 jet, designated the T-346A by the Italian Air Force. It is the backbone of the 61° Wing, which trains pilots and instructors from Italy and nations such as the U.S., Spain, France, Austria, the Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Argentina, Greece and Kuwait.

Operational training, carried out by the Italian Air Force with the T-346A, prepares pilots to transition to the latest-generation combat aircraft including the Eurofighter and the F-35. The Galatina Air Force Base is also equipped with live-virtual-constructive (LVC) training technologies, including advanced CAE-built M-346 full-mission simulators. Leonardo’s LVC enables trainees on the ground to interact with pilots in the air, flying real aircraft, during the same training missions.

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