US Air Force certifies Poland's M346 Bielik system for training fourth, fifth generation fighter pilots

USAF certification M346 training system
Polish Air Force M-346 Bielik advanced trainer jets.

The Polish Air Force flight training school in Deblin has received a certificate from the US Air Force confirming that their M-346 Bielik training system for F-16 pilots is equivalent to US training in the T-38 Talon, according to Polska Zbrojna.

A US Air Force inspection team has found that the school meets all the requirements to train F-35 pilots as well. "The Polish training system was tested at the end of last year by American officers. A team of several US Air Force pilots, representing both combat and training units, came to us and carefully checked how we train," Major Pilot Mariusz Fischer, M-346 Bielik instructor, said.

The American pilots checked the entire training process for the students destined for the F-16. "They assessed the teaching skills of the instructors responsible for this part of the training and verified the training phases in the M-346 flight simulator and in the air: mission planning, briefing, aerial activity and debriefing. The Americans also evaluated our infrastructure for functionality, number of aircraft and simulators available. They also analyzed the training documentation and the flight safety system. Everything has been thoroughly evaluated," Fischer said.

The inspection of the Americans ended with positive results. "We have met the requirements imposed by the United States for the training of pilots of fourth and fifth generation aircraft. This was a huge success for our staff," the M-346 instructor said. The Americans greatly appreciated the M-346. "We also received a high rating for training documentation and instructor skills. The element to improve is the number of simulators. These are very modern systems, but their number is inadequate to the fleet of aircraft acquired and this could affect the maintenance of the expected training pace. The introduction of an additional simulator seems necessary to achieve the required system throughput," Fischer added.

The certification of the Bielik training system represents an important milestone in the training of fighter aircraft pilots, this will allow Poland to train many of its students at home rather than abroad. It also marks an opportunity for Deblin to become a training center for pilots from neighboring countries such as Slovakia, Bulgaria, Romania and Ukraine. "Thanks to this certification, countries that do not plan to expand their training infrastructure will be able to train their pilots in Poland. We have a lot to be proud of. The M-346 is a training system characterized by high efficiency, reliability and safety. We are able to provide effective and comprehensive training for pilots targeting modern combat platforms," Fischer said. "Although our priority is to develop and secure our training needs, I am sure that in the near future we will use our infrastructure and skills to train pilots from other countries."

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Polish Air Force

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