Today’s article will be about one of our favorite training aircraft, the Italian Leonardo M-346, which will be used to train the next generation of Hellenic Air Force (HAF) pilots.
The M-346 will replace the older T-2 Buckeye training aircraft, which are no longer capable of providing the proper training required by the new fighter jets in service with the Hellenic Air Force.
The M-346 is a new-generation, twin-engine, two-seat training aircraft that features a fully digital cockpit and electronic systems. It has a length of 11.49 meters, a total wingspan of 9.72 meters, and can exceed 1,000 kilometers per hour using two Honeywell F124-GA-200 turbofan engines.
At the same time, it has a range of 1,925 kilometers and can fly for 4 hours carrying 3 external fuel tanks.
It integrates a range of aviation training systems such as ETTS (Embedded Tactical Training Simulation), TNA (Training Need Analysis), and TMIS (Training Management Information System).
This is the combat version of the M-346. It provides close air support and reconnaissance missions. It carries a GRIFO-346 type X-frequency radar, which is a version of the company’s AESA GRIFO radar.
It can carry air-to-air missiles, air-to-surface missiles, laser-guided bombs, rockets , guns, and targeting, jamming, and intelligence-gathering pods.
The M-346 in Greek service
The Hellenic Air Force is to acquire a number of M-346’s under the agreement with the Israeli company Elbit Systems, and they will be stationed at the International Flight Training Center, Kalamata Air Base. They are currently under construction at Leonardo’s facilities in Italy.
To sum up
The M-346 is a top-notch training plane that is perfect for the Hellenic Air Force’s training needs. Their acquisition will boost the Hellenic Air Force Academy, laying a strong foundation for the future F-16V, Rafale and F-35 greek pilots.
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