Poland's pilots started in-flight training with T-346A advanced jet trainer

World Defense & Security News - Poland
Poland's pilots started in-flight training with T-346A advanced jet trainer
Polish Air Force's pilot carried out the first flight on Finmeccanica's T-346A advanced jet trainer, the Italian Air Force (IAF) announced on its website on March 3. Polish Air Force (PAF) pilot took to the skies on March 2 from the Fortunato Cesari airbase, in Galatina, Italy. The PAF officer made this maiden flight with Finmeccanica's test pilot.
Poland pilots started in flight training on T 346A advanced jet trainer 640 001PAF pilot ready to take off for its first in-flight training with a T-346A jet trainer
(Credit: Italian Air Force)
This event is part of a training program PAF pilots are pursuing at the IAF 61th Stormo. This step is part of a contract secured by the company from the Polish Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply eight aircraft and associated logistic support.The purchase order, placed by the MoD in 2014, is part of a modernisation effort aimed at replacing the Polish Air Force's ageing fleet of TS-11 Iskra aircraft.

Once qualified, these pilots will be able to train others instructors and students for the PAF, the IAF stated.

This step is part of a program which started on November 30, 2015, and is divided in two phases. The first one is directly managed by Finmeccanica on ground, with the company's Ground Based Training System, and in flight. After this two phases, the pilots will be trained by the 212th Flight Group of the 61st Stormo, which aims to train pilots to the Lead In Fighter Training Course.

Finmeccanica announced the kick-off of the final assembly phase for the first two Aermacchi M-346s for the Polish Air Force on Feb. 25, 2016.

In addition to Poland, other nations are currently training at Galatina airbase: Argentina, Austria, France, Greece, Kuwait, the Netherlands and Singapore.