The ITAF Reparto Sperimentale Volo performed over San Javier-Murcia to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Spanish Air Force Military Flight Academy.

Italian T-346 flying display Spain
Italian T-346 flying display debut in Spain.

The Ejercito del Aire (Spanish Air Force) celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Academia General del Aire (Military flight academy) on June 9-10. During the two-day-event the audiece could visit the San Javier-Murcia air base and attend an airshow over the nearby beach. Many aircraft took part in the flying display as the Spanish Eurofighter and F-18, the Patrulla Aguila and several foreign planes.

The line-up also included a T-346A (Serial MM55223) belonging to the Reparto Sperimentale Volo (RSV) of the Italian Air Force which conducted its first ever flight display in Spain. The italian demo pilot showed to the public the wide flight envelope, high thrust/weight ratio and extreme maneuverability of the aircraft. The maneuvers performed by the T-346 during the airshows are very similar to those of modern combat aircraft such as the Eurofighter.

Leonardo's modern jet trainer is one of the candidates to replace the aging CASA C-101 Aviojet and F-5 Freedom Fighter. The Spanish Ministry of Defense is looking for a replacement for both aircraft and the advanced capabilities of the M-346 would allow Spain to replace the two aircraft with just one.

Since 2013, the M-346 is in service with the Air Forces of Italy, Republic of Singapore and Israel, and more recently it was adopted by the Polish Air Force that signed a contract for 8 aircraft in 2014 and 4 more in 2018.

Text and Pics: Matteo Sanzani

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