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Leonardo ups the ante on M345 trainer jet pitch to Slovakia

6th September 2023 - 15:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


Leonardo showcased an M345 jet trainer simulator at the SIAF air show in Slovakia in late August. (Photo: Leonardo)

Leonardo has cemented partnerships with Slovak defence companies LOTN, VRM and Slavia Production Systems in an effort to bolster a proposal to supply its M345 jet trainer to Slovakia as the country's air force transitions to an F-16 fighter fleet.

In a ceremony last week, Leonardo signed strategic agreements with Slovak defence companies LOTN, Virtual Reality Media (VRM) and Slavia Production Systems, consolidating efforts to create a base for wide industrial cooperation with the Slovakian armed forces and industry.

LOTN is an aviation MRO provider, with experience on such types as the UH-60 Black Hawk and F-16 fighter; VRM develops training and simulation systems; while Slavia Production Systems specialises in industrial processes and management.

'Leonardo pursues worldwide the local cooperation, adopting a business model aimed to foster adequate synergy with local industries on long-term partnership and value chain development,' said Corrado Falco, senior VP international business development at Leonardo.

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Putting the agreements in context, Leonardo displayed its M345 Tactical Trainer simulator, at the SIAF air show in the last week of August.

Leonardo aims to position itself as a partner of choice for Slovak defence as the country makes a generational jump to a new fleet of fighter aircraft. 

It sees the M345 integrated training system and services provided by Leonardo as 'the best solution to assure highly trained pilots for the [Slovak] Air Force', according to a company release.

Slovakia is set to receive a fleet of 14 F-16V fighters by the end of this year, and Leonardo has previously proposed the M345 basic/advanced jet trainer as a replacement for the country's ageing L-39 fleet.

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