Leonardo ups the ante on M345 trainer jet pitch to Slovakia
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.
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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