Israel receives final 30 M-346 Lavi jets

Israeli air force receives final shipment of M-346 aircraft.
By Geoff Ziezulewicz   |   July 21, 2016 at 12:31 PM
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HAIFA, Israel, July 21 (UPI) -- The Israeli air force took custody of the final Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Lavi aircraft, the Israeli Ministry of Defense said.

Delivery of the final 30 aircraft completes a deal that saw the first such jets land in Israel in 2014, the ministry said in a statement. Italian manufacturer Alenia Aermacchi, now defunct, was a subisidiary of Leonardo-Finmeccanica.

The M-346 aircraft were delivered in record time, within two years from the date of delivery of the first aircraft, featuring a production rate of about 1.5 aircraft a month, the ministry said.

The jets have upgraded the air force's ability to train future pilots.

The aircraft purchase was part of a deal signed in 2012 between Haifa and Rome that involves reciprocal procurement deals with Italian defense companies.

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