VENEGONO SUPERIORE, Italy --- Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono has begun assembling Israel's first M-346 advanced jet trainer.
The three major components of the first aircraft--called Lavi in Israeli Air & Space Force-- are currently being joined to form the aircraft's structure.
Israeli's first M-346 will make its way down the assembly line and roll out of the factory for final checks and delivery to the IASF in the mid of 2014.
Thanks to a highly skilled workforce and to one of the most up-to-date, automated, production line, the program is on time and budget to deliver the aircraft to the Israeli Air Force that will fly soon the most advanced jet trainer available on the market.
Israel ordered a total of 30 M-346 as advanced trainers to replace the TA-4 Skyhawks currently in service.
The M-346 is the ideal platform for a latest-generation integrated training system. Its flexibility means that it can also be configured as an affordable advanced defence aircraft for operational roles. Thanks to its innovative technical characteristics, the aircraft also stands out because of its high degree of safety and low acquisition and operating costs.
The M-346 was been designed using the latest “design-to-cost” and “design-to-maintain” concepts, with an avionics system modelled on those used in current (F-16, F-18) and new-generation fighter aircraft, such as Eurofighter, Gripen, Rafale, F-22 and the future JSF.