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Final build of M-346 trainers for Poland begins

Aermacchi, part of Italy's Finmeccanica, has started the final phase assembly of the fist two of eight M-346 trainer jets for Poland.

By
Richard Tomkins
The first of eight Aermacchi M-346 trainer aircraft for the Polish Air Force. Photo courtesy Finmeccanica
The first of eight Aermacchi M-346 trainer aircraft for the Polish Air Force. Photo courtesy Finmeccanica

ROME, Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Aermacchi has begun final assembly of the first two of eight M-346 jet trainer aircraft being built for the Polish Air Force.

Final assembly began Wednesday at an Aermacchi facility following a ceremony attended by General Commander of the Polish Armed Forces Lt. Gen. Miroslaw Rozanski and other officials.

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The two aircraft will be delivered to Poland in November by Aermacchi, which is part of Finmeccanica.

The M-346 is a twin-engine transonic aircraft with a maximum speed of about 658 miles per hour, a range of 1,231 miles and a service ceiling of 45,000 feet.

The M-346 aircraft ordered by Poland will replace its TS-11 Iskra trainers.

The 2014 contract for the planes contains provisions for logistic support, a training program for pilots and engineers, and a state-of-the-art ground-based training system.

Finmeccanica said a total of 59 trainers have been ordered so far by Italy, Israel, Singapore and Poland.

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