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Israel opens M-346 'Lavi' training centre

The Israeli air force has inaugurated a new flight training centre for the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 "Lavi" trainer at its Hazerim air base.

Elbit Systems, as prime contractor, developed and delivered the ground-based training system (GBTS) centre, together with Alenia Aermacchi, CAE and Selex, following a selection by TOR Advanced Flight Training, which is responsible for the operation of the air force's new training fleet. Elbit will provide the GBTS facility and logistics services for 20 years.

The GBTS consists of two full-mission simulators and two operational flight simulators, all of which can be linked together.

Pilots and weapon systems operators (WSOs) will undergo training ranging from basic familiarity with the M-346 to the highest level of combat flight competence. A high percentage of the syllabus will be performed using the GBTS, which trainees will visit on a daily basis.

The training solution was selected by the air force, and will enable pilots and WSOs to progress directly to the service's current Boeing F-15 Strike Eagle and Lockheed Martin F-16 fleets, and its future Lockheed Martin F-35 Joint Strike Fighters.

Alenia Aermacchi in early July delivered the Israeli air force's first two of 30 M-346 trainers.

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Alenia Aermacchi

In addition to using the ground-based training infrastructure, student pilots and WSOs will also benefit from Elbit's embedded virtual avionics system, integrated by Alenia Aermacchi into the M-346. This enables flightcrews to gain experience in operating advanced systems such as virtual radar, electro-optical/infrared sensors, electronic warfare systems and virtual air-to-air and air-to-surface weapons.

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