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.
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.