Alenia Aermacchi has been awarded a $140 million contract by Elbit Systems for its part of a shared logistics support deal linked to 30 M-346I advanced jet trainers ordered in July 2012 for use by the Israeli air force. Services to be provided by the companies will include supply, maintenance and overhaul activities, with the deal believed to be for 20 years.
Israel's defence ministry last year placed a contract worth around $600 million to cover aircraft deliveries, plus an initial package of training and logistics support services, and technical engineering support. The twin-engined type's Honeywell/ITEC F124-GA-200 engines will be provided under a September 2012 contract worth around $375 million.
Final assembly work on Israel's first aircraft will begin early this year at Alenia Aermacchi's Venegono site, with chief executive Giuseppe Giordo having said last August that deliveries will begin in mid-2014.
The M-346I will use Alenia Aermacchi's quadruple-redundant fly-by-wire flight control system and a Selex ES glass cockpit with mission system and payload management commands for use during weapon system officer training.
Elbit's embedded virtual avionics system will allow students to gain experience in operating advanced systems, such as radar, optical sensors, electronic warfare equipment and air-launched weapons. The Israeli company will also supply a ground-based training system, in association with industry partners including Alenia Aermacchi, CAE and Selex Galileo.
Israel's new advanced jet trainers will be made available for air force use by the TOR Systems joint venture between Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries.