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Poland to buy Alenia Aermacchi M-346 aircraft to train pilots

Jan. 6, 2014 at 9:50 AM

ROME, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Alenia Aermacchi of Italy announced its M-346 aircraft will be used to train air force pilots in Poland.

A $380 million contract to soon be signed with Poland is for eight aircraft and an undisclosed number of flight simulators and other training devices, the company said.

Alenia Aermacchi said the contract aircraft will be signed early this year.

The M-346, which is based on the Yak-130, is a transonic aircraft built in cooperation with Yakovlev of Russia. It has a maximum speed of more than 500 knots (575 mph) and a range of 1,070 nautical miles (12,305 miles).

The Italian company said it won the contract in competition against BAE Systems and Lockheed Martin UK.

Forty-eight M-346s have been ordered by the Italian Air force and the Singapore and Israeli governments.

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