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Poland signs support deal for M-346 jet trainer

17th February 2023 - 18:00 GMT | by The Shephard News Team in London


The Polish Air Force now has a fleet of 16 M-346 advanced jet trainers. (Photo: Polish Air Force)

Leonardo and WZL1 will increase the Polish M-346 advanced trainer jet fleet's availability to meet combat pilot training requirements.

Leonardo and PGZ Group company Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze Nr 1 (WZL1) have signed a contract for the long-term support of the Polish Air Force (PLAF) M-346 Beilik fleet of advanced jet trainers, the partners announced on 17 February.

Under the agreement, the partners will further increase fleet availability to meet the PLAF’s growing needs for training combat pilots.

Leonardo, as the manufacturer of the M-346 jet, will look after engineering support services while WZL1 will act as main contractor.

The Polish company will coordinate the entire process, complementing and supporting areas where Leonardo is not involved.

Leonardo also cooperates with WZL1 on separate agreements in the process of training and establishing maintenance and repair competencies at WZL1’s headquarters to support the operation of M-346 aircraft with the AJT system.

‘This agreement strengthens Leonardo’s partnership with WZL1, creating new opportunities to transfer additional activities in Poland, in accordance with a proven and flexible logistic support model that Leonardo has established in several countries, which foresees a transfer of capabilities to local defence industries,’ SVP of commercial and customer services at Leonardo Aircraft Dario Marfè said.

In February 2014, Poland chose the M-346 as the successor to the TS-11 Iskra training aircraft. Since its introduction into the PLAF fleet, the M-346 has been assigned to the 41st Training Air Base in Dęblin.

The country now has a fleet of 16 M-346 aircraft after Leonardo delivered the third and last batch of four jets in the middle of December 2022.

The PLAF flight training school in Deblin has also received a certificate from the USAF to confirm that its Leonardo M-346 Beilik aircraft provides equivalent training to the US T-38 Talon to the level of Introduction for Fighter Fundamentals (IFF).

The school met all the requirements to train F-35 and F-16 pilots too.

The Shephard News Team


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