IAF pilots will soon start training with a new aircraft model

A deal was recently signed with Italian company to provide the IAF with new M-346 Master supersonic trainers, which will prepare pilots to fly F-35 fighter planes

Date: 24/07/2012, 12:36 PM     Author: IAF Website

An agreement for the IAF’s purchase of new supersonic trainers was recently signed in Italy. The IAF will receive the new M-346 Master training planes from Alenia Aermacchi, an Italian company.

These planes are to become the IAF’s new official instructional airplane, replacing the McDonnell Douglas A-4 Skyhawk. Whereas the Skyhawk can function as a fighter plane, the M-346 is designed only as a training plane.

“The Italian airplane is a combination,” Colonel K, head of the Instructional Department of the IAF, recently explained to IAF Magazine.”It’s a crossbreed of the F-15, the F-16, and the Eurofighter. In contrast to the South Korean airplane candidate, the Italian airplane has two engines as opposed to one – which holds a very significant safety advantage. In the long run, it’ll assist us with the F-35 and prepare us for the future.”

The IAF follows the air forces of Singapore, Italy, and the UAE in purchasing the M-346 Master.

“There is no doubt that those who train on the new planes will be able to more easily get used to the advanced planes used by the IAF,” explained Giuseppe Giordo, CEO of Alenia Aermacchi. “The M-346 provides a work environment similar to that of the F-15 and F-16. This work environment will enable pilots to easily adapt to the fifth-generation airplanes. In fact, all of the air forces that are set to use our airplanes have decided that the F-35 will be their next fighter plane.”

“These airplanes give us solutions for the current everyday challenges,” Lt. Col. Avshalom, Head of Planes in the IAF Headquarters, recently told IAF Magazine. “The instructor’s intervention within the airplane is much easier; the advanced avionics take the pressure off our instructors and give them time to pay extra attention to their cadets. The inner workings of the airplane are very similar to a very advanced airplane: rotating maps, radars, and a much more realistic feel in light of the reality that the cadets will face later on in their operational flights.”

“From the beginning, the plane was designed for instructional purposes, and that makes it much easier to use,” added Lt. Col. Avshalom. “As an instructor, it’s hard for you to understand what your students think, what they see or don’t see, where their minds wander, and what information they miss, making them reach certain answers and not others. On the other hand, in these airplanes, you can clearly observe the students, where they are looking, what bothers them, and what their next move will be.”