Well done to Alenia Aermacchi, for rolling out its first of 30 M-346 advanced jet trainers for Israel on 20 March.
As shown in this company-sourced image, the Israeli air force has gone for a nice grey and black colour scheme for its aircraft – for which it has revived the name “Lavi”.
As our correspondent Luca Peruzzi reported from the roll-out event, the Israeli air force should be taking delivery of its first nine of the new type this calendar year, with its entire fleet to be in use by 2016. It will follow Italy and Singapore in fielding the type, while Poland also recently ordered eight.
The big question though is whether Alenia and its partner General Dynamics could in time also secure victory in the US Air Force’s T-X trainer battle? Their T-100 offering will face tough competition from the BAE Systems/Northrop Grumman Hawk, Korea Aerospace Industries/Lockheed Martin T-50 and a clean-sheet offering from Boeing/Saab for the potentially 350-unit deal.