Tag: Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master

United State Air Force Certifies Polish Air Force M-346 Training System For Future F-16 And F-35 Pilots

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United State Air Force Certifies Polish Air Force M-346 Training System For Future F-16 And F-35 Pilots
Two Polish M-346s throughout a training objective.

(Photo: Polish Air Force )The qualification testifies that the training of Polish pilots amounts the training done in the USA on the T-38C as much as the Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals. Adhering to a week-long evaluation in late 2021, the U.S. Air Force licensed the Polish Air Force training system with the M-346 Bielik at the 41st Training Aviation Base in Dęblin as comparable to the training executed on the T-38C Talon in the USA, several Polish media electrical outlets have actually reported. Following this qualification, Polish pilots will certainly currently have the ability to finish their training in the house prior to signing up with the Operational Conversion Unit, without the demand of added training abroad. The United States employees executed an extremely throughout evaluation of the training system fixated the M-346. Amongst the products examined there are the facilities, the academic talks, the abilities of the trainers, the objective preparation, debriefing as well as instruction procedure, the trip simulator training and also the online trip training.” A group of a number of United States Air Force pilots, standing for both battle and also

training air travel, involved us as well as thoroughly examined just how we educate”, stated Maj. Pil. Mariusz Fischer, M-346 Bielik teacher pilot.”The Americans likewise examined our framework in regards to its performance, the variety of offered aircrafts and also simulators. The training paperwork and also the trip safety and security system were additionally evaluated. Each component was evaluated in excellent information.”For a long period of time, pilots appointed to fly the F-16 Fighting Falcon finished first trip training in Poland on the PZL-130 Orlik at the 42nd Training Air Base in Radom and afterwards transferred to the United States for sophisticated training and also Introduction to Fighter Fundamentals(IFF)on the T-38C Talon, prior to going to the F-16 Basic Course in Tucson, Arizona. This was a forced selection as the currently retired TS-11 Iskra was inadequate qualified to give the pupil pilots with the called for skillset prior to the F-16 B-Course. A Polish M-346 Bielik on top of a looping.(Photo: Polish Air Force)Following the distribution of the M-346, the Polish Air Force got in a change stage and also currently, with this qualification, Polish pilots will certainly have the ability to finish at Dęblin all their innovative training as much as the IFF stage. Especially, the training was licensed likewise for the future F-35 pilots Like their 4th gen equivalents, they will just relocate to the United States when prepared to participate in the F-35 B-Course at Luke Air Force Base, Arizona. The evaluation group likewise located area for additional renovation, starting from the variety of trip simulators.”We satisfied the demands established by the United States in the area of training pilots of 5th and also 4th generation airplane. This is a substantial success for our team. Our allies likewise offered us high marks for training paperwork as well as teachers’ abilities”, included Maj. Fischer.” The aspect that requires enhancement is the variety of simulators. These are really modern-day tools, yet their number insufficient to the fleet of aircrafts gotten under the agreement might have an effect on keeping the prepared training rhythm. Getting an added simulator appears essential to accomplish the needed system throughput “. Poland presently runs a fleet of 12 M-346s, of which the initial 8

were purchased in 2014 with the various other 4 airplane as an alternative. In 2014, an agreement for a brand-new choice of 4 M-346 was introduced, which must be supplied by the end of the year as well as bring the complete fleet to 16 airplane. Together with the last 4 airplane, Poland will certainly obtain a brand-new assistance bundle in addition to an upgrade of the whole M-346 fleet to the NATO STANAG 4193 Edition 3 IFF basic established by Leonardo. About Stefano D’Urso Stefano D’Urso is an independent reporter as well as factor to TheAviationist based in Lecce, Italy. A grad in Industral Engineering he’s additionally researching to accomplish a Master Degree in Aerospace Engineering. Digital Warfare, Loitering Munitions as well as OSINT strategies related to the globe of existing disputes as well as armed forces procedures are amongst his locations of knowledge.

M-346 Light Fighter Family of Aircraft (LFFA) Performs First Flight in Complete Configuration

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The prototype of the M-346 LFFA landing after the first flight at Venegono airport. (Photo: Oscar Bernardi)

The new prototype of the Leonardo M-346 Light Fighter Family of Aircraft (LFFA) performed its first flight on July 13, 2020, from Venegono airport, where the company’s final assembly lines are based. The aircraft, formerly known as M-346 Fighter Attack (FA), is the first prototype in complete configuration, featuring all the equipment that differentiates it from the standard M-346 Advanced Jet Trainer (AJT).

The prototype, with serial CPX625, was captured by photographer Oscar Bernardi, who sent us the photos you can see here. The most visible differences from the standard AJT configuration are the two wingtip missile rails, that bring the total hardpoints to seven (two on the wingtips, four under the wings and one under the fuselage), a couple on new antennas on the nose (in front of the cockpit) and under the fuselage (under the both engines), and the Defensive Aid Sub System (DASS).

The DASS features a Radar Warning Receiver (RWR), probably the new SEER digital RWR developed by Leonardo with sensors in the tail and near the wing root’s leading edge (beside the air intakes), a Missile Warning System (MWS), with two sensors along the RWR ones beside the air intakes and two near the wing root’s trailing edge, together with chaff/flare dispensers.

The M-346 LFFA variant is designed to retain the full dual role capability of the AJT version, already in service with the Italian, Israeli, Polish and Singapore Air Forces, while incorporating also some new features like a tactical data link, Grifo-346 mechanical scan, multi-mode radar, new secure radios and IFF system (Identification Friend or Foe), and a stronger airframe.

The M-346 LFFA prototype performing a fly-by at Venegono airport. The new antennas and the DASS sensors and countermeasures dispensers are clearly visible. (Photo: Oscar Bernardi)

The aircraft, which is being proposed for Homeland Defence/Air Policing, Slow Mover Intercept, Close Air Support (CAS), Counter INsurgency (COIN), Forward Air Controller – Airborne (FAC-A), Combat Search And Rescue (CSAR), Interdiction, Battlefield Air Interdiction (BAI), Tactical Air Support for Maritime Operations (TASMO) and Tactical Reconnaissance roles, can carry more than 2,000 kg of weapons.

Currently, the M-346 LFFA has been cleared to employ a baseline set of weapons comprising AIM-9 IR-guided air-to-air missiles, Mk-82 free fall bombs, Lizard 2 laser guided bombs and gun pod. The aircraft has been integrated also with the Litening 5 targeting pod and RecceLite recon pod.

Optional weapons include the IRIS-T IR-guided air-to-air missiles, GBU-12 and GBU-16 laser guided bombs, GBU-49 and Lizard 4 laser/GPS guided bombs, GBU-38 and GBU-32 JDAMs, GBU-39 Small Diameter Bombs, Brimstone Air-to-Surface Missiles, Marte ER anti-ship missile, ECM pod and an unspecified medium range air-to-air missile.

The M-346 LFFA maintains the air-to-air refueling capability of the M-346 AJT, being able to perform about two and half hours missions at about 500 nm from the homebase, depending on the mission type and the presence of external fuel tanks.

Many of the M-346 LFFA features were already planned during the development of the first M-346 prototype, after the joint YAK/AEM-130 Technology Demonstrator Program in collaboration with Yakolev. At that time, the aircraft already included future provisions for Helmet Mounted Displays, DASS, targeting and recon pods, nine weapon stations to carry up to 3,000 kg of payload, removable air-to-air refueling probe and both air-to-air and air-to-ground mission capability.

The new aircraft has been already ordered by an unspecified country, while Azerbaijan reportedly signed a memorandum of understanding that could include both the LFFA and AJT variants.

Another shot of the M-346 LFFA prototype during the first flight. (Photo: Oscar Bernardi)

Regarding the performances, the M-346 LFFA page on Leonardo’s website quotes Giacomo Iannelli, Project Test Pilot Trainer of Leonardo’s Aircraft Division, as he gives his impressions of the aircraft during the development in 2018 (before the aircraft was renamed from FA to LFFA):

“First of all, the low altitude speed is very high even with external loads, while other supersonic aircraft have a better performance in a clean configuration, but get considerably worse when loads are added.

The manoeuvrability is excellent thanks also to the 4-channel digital fly-by-wire flight control system and this allows fast manoeuvring during close air combat. The remarkable specific excess power allows the return to base even with full payload, with one engine inoperative (OEI), at an adequate altitude to keep out of the more common range missile threat, guaranteeing a notable survivability capability. The so-called Carefree Handling makes sure that the pilots can focus on the mission, without having to worry about risking to exit the expected flight envelope.

The twin-engine configuration assures a high battlefield survivability and, at the same time, the fuel consumption is kept low thanks to the engine’s efficiency, definitely providing a good range, that can be further extended by air refuelling, a capability which is already operational within Italian Air Force. The Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) assures completely autonomous flight operations.

Furthermore, the visibility is excellent as the M-346 was born as a trainer, it is a two-seater aircraft and this is very important during low altitude flight. The back-seater pilot can also be act as a Weapons System Operator or a more specialised FAC-A (Forward Air Controller – Airborne) role”.

The Aviationist Editor David Cenciotti would like to thank Oscar Bernardi for sending us the photos you can find in this article.