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Leonardo-Finmeccanica rolls out M-346 for Poland

Italy's Leonardo-Finmeccanica has completed production of the first of eight M-346 trainer aircraft for Poland.

By Richard Tomkins
An M-346 trainer jet for the Polish Air Force. Photo courtesy Leonardo-Finmeccanica
An M-346 trainer jet for the Polish Air Force. Photo courtesy Leonardo-Finmeccanica

ROME, June 7 (UPI) -- The first of eight Aermacchi M-346 trainer aircraft for the Polish Air Force has been rolled out by Leonardo-Finmeccanica.

The aircraft, which will soon begin flight testing, was unveiled Monday in a ceremony in Italy attended by Polish Deputy Defense Minister Bartosz Kownacki.

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The M-346 by Aermacchi, part of Leonardo-Finmeccanica, is a jet trainer and light attack aircraft with a maximum speed of 572 knots and a range of 1,070 nautical miles.

It is a twin-engine aircraft with a quadruplex fly-by-wire control system and a digital avionics system modeled on those of latest-generation military aircraft, including the Eurofighter, Gripen, Rafale, F-16, F-18, F-22 and the future F-35.

Poland in 2014 ordered eight of the aircraft with customized systems.

Leonardo-Finmeccanica said the first two aircraft will be delivered to the Polish Air Force by the end of this year. Delivery of all aircraft ordered will be completed by November of 2017.

In addition to Poland, the M-346 has been ordered by Italy, Singapore and Israel.

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