The MB-339, also used by Frecce Tricolori aerobatic team, represents an important reference for basic and advanced pilot training.

Italian Air Force MB-339 Trainer Jet

NATO Support and Procurement Agency (NSPA) has been facilitating the contracted support to the Italian Air Force’s fleet of 70 MB-339 jet aircraft through an Integrated Logistic Support (ILS) contract with Leonardo since 2015. Part of this fleet, made up of specially modified aircraft, form the Italian Air Force Aerobatic Team known as the “Frecce Tricolori” which is the largest such team (9 + 1 solo) in the world.

The rest of the fleet is used for training purposes in southern Italy to train Italian Air Force along with other nation’s military students before they move on to more challenging aircraft such as Tornado, Rafale, F-16, and F-18 fighter aircraft.

The MB-339 aircraft is capable of simulating the use of a wide range of weapon types and also permits air-to-air refuelling training. For the past 20 years, the MB-339, along with its associated flight simulator, represents a reference of basic and advanced pilot training phases known worldwide as Integrated Pilot Training System.

[According to the plans of the Italian Air Force, the MB339 aircraft will be replaced from 2019 by the new M-345 HET.
The contract between the Italian Ministry of Defence and Leonardo for the purchase of the first batch of M-345 has already been signed earlier in the year. More info here].

Source: NSPA

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