The Ministry of Defence of Poland signed the contract for the delivery of eight Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master advanced training jets on 27 February 2014. The deal is worth EUR 280 million, as announced earlier.
In addition to the eight aircraft, the provision also included logistic support, a training program for pilots and engineers and ground-based training system with dedicated classroom and educational materials.
In Poland, the M-346 replaces the trusty old PZL TS-11 Iskras, a type that first flew as early as 1960. Poland has been looking for a replacement aircraft for the last five years or so. The new trainers will mainly be used for training future F-16 pilots. Poland operates 48 state-of-the-art Lockheed Martin F-16C/D Block 52 fighters, as well as legendary MiG-29 Fulcrums.
Source: Alenia Aermacchi with additional reporting by AIRheads’ editor Elmer van Hest