The Israeli air force has enhanced the capabilities of its Leonardo Aermacchi M-346 "Lavi" advanced jet trainers by adding external fuel tanks.

The enhancement was made possible after the aircraft's software was upgraded following a long series of test flights performed by the service's flight test squadron.

Additional adaptations planned for the air force's Italian-built jets include enabling the twin-engined type to carry live bombs: a step which the service says will enable it to enhance the effect of advanced training for air-to-surface strike missions.

The Lavi – 30 of which are in operational use – also is being employed to support advanced training involving "fourth-generation" fighters. Israel's air force has decided to equip all its combat aircraft with Israel Aerospace Industries' EHUD air combat manoeuvring instrumentation system, and recently ordered more examples.