Alenia Aermacchi has begun assembling the first M-346 advanced jet trainer destined for Israel at its Venegono factory.

The first three major fuselage components of the trainer - to be known as Lavi in Israeli service - have been joined together, says the Italian airframer.

First M-346 Lavi

Alenia Aermacchi

Delivery of the Honeywell F124-GA-200-powered type to the Israeli air force is scheduled for mid-2014.

The service has 30 M-346 Lavis on order to replace its fleet of aged Douglas TA-4 Skyhawks.