The Israeli Air Force is improving the capabilities of its M-346 advanced jet trainers.
Flight Global reported on May 24, 2017 that the Air Force is equipping its advanced jet trainers with inert training bombs and external fuel tanks. The work is being conducted locally in coordination with manufacturer Leonardo.
The improvements may eventually be offered to other customers of the M-346.
The report quoted Lt. Col. Shlomy, commander of the Air Force’s test center, as saying in regards to the M-346 program, “We work closely with the manufacturer, and this may lead to offering the same upgrades to other customers.”
He added, “We have accumulated the largest number of flight hours on the type, and the experience gained allows us to make the changes this aircraft has made to our pilot training process even bigger.”
Israel purchased 30 M-346 advanced jet trainers. By July 2016, all 30 had been delivered. Previously, according to Flight Global, the Air Force trained its pilots in advanced stages with F-16A/B jets.