Elbit Systems has been chosen to develop a flight training centre to support the Israeli air force's future use of the Alenia Aermacchi M-346.
The Israeli company will develop the centre as part of a contract awarded by the nation's defence ministry earlier this year to TOR Systems, a company jointly owned by Elbit and Israel Aerospace Industries. TOR was established to deliver the Israeli air force's future trainer aircraft programme, involving the use of 30 M-346s.
With the introduction of the new type, more emphasis will be placed on ground-based training for the air force's flight school cadets, combat pilots and navigators. The Elbit-developed training centre is expected to begin operations in mid-2014, coinciding with first aircraft deliveries.
Elbit says that once ground-based training has been completed, cadets will proceed to airborne training using its embedded virtual avionics system. This will allow trainees to gain vital experience in operating advanced systems such as radar, electro-optical sensors, countermeasures and virtual weapons, before going on to fly frontline combat aircraft.