The company Alenia Aermacchi has announced that what it is selling is first and foremost an innovative approach to training and instruction
The Italian plane is made of an “international team” of Western components After years of anticipation, the first “Lavi” (M-346) planes will land this week at Hatzerim airbase. An additional fleet of 28 planes will arrive up until the end of 2016 and will began a new era in the field of training in the IAF
A new era has begun in the IAF and the IDF: a pair of M-346 “Lavi” (Hebrew for Lion) planes will complete its long journey from the northern Italian city of Varese and will land at Hatzerim airbase this week. The new planes will bring about a significant change in the training of the IAF’s future generations of pilots and weapon systems officers as well as the training procedures of the whole force.
“An International Team”
A ceremony marking the official delivery of the “Lavi” to the IAF was held last March. “The ‘Lavi’ planes will constitute a quantum leap in the training of future pilots”, said Brigadier General (res.) Shmuel Zucker, Head of Arms Procurements at the Ministry of Defense.
It is not for nothing that the Ministry of Defense and the IAF have been anxiously awaiting the arrival of the jet trainers since the deal was signed. The Italian plane is made of an “international team” of Western components: the engine is American, the ejection seats British, the landing gear German and most of the other components were developed by the Italian company “Alenia Aermacchi” which manufactures the plane. Additionally, a big part of the computing and display systems of the plane are Israeli-made systems-that is to say, Israeli systems from the company “Elbit Systems”, much like the IAF’s new C-130J Hercules planes.
Instructor From Birth
The company Alenia Aermacchi has announced that what it is selling is first and foremost an innovative approach to training and instruction. “The systems we developed allow the pilots to simulate operational scenarios in a way that is not possible with other planes”, explains Giuseppe Giordo, Alenia Aermacchi CEO.
Unlike the Skyhawk A-4 and the F-16 A/B jets, which served in the force for many years before becoming training planes, the “Lavi” was designed to be training plane. As such, it is built in a “user-friendly” way, with advanced enemy-simulating systems. Additionally, the IAF recently completed construction of the Ground Training Center, where the IAF will operate the “Lavi” simulators.