ITAF-Leonardo International Flight Training School kicks off in Sardinia

IFTS Flight School Decimomannu Sardinia
Italian Air Force T-346A advanced trainer aircraft.

The Italian Air Force has recently launched the first Phase IV course for Italian and foreign pilots destined for fighters at the Decimomannu Air Base, Sardinia.

On July 4, 2022, the Commander of the Schools of the Italian Air Force General Silvano Frigerio officially started the training activities in Decimomannu by the 212° Gruppo Volo (212th Flight Group) belonging to the 61st Wing-Galatina AFB which was deployed there a few days before.

The event marked a further step towards the full operation of the International Flight Training School (IFTS) at the Decimomannu Air Base in accordance with the Technical Agreement signed by the Italian Air Force and the aerospace company Leonardo in July 2018. The objective of the IFTS is to to combine the expertise of the Italian Air Force in military flight training and the advanced systems of the leading Italian aerospace company.

IFTS Flight School Decimomannu Sardinia

This result was also possible thanks to the great work of the ITAF Logistics Command which, pending the completion of the works for the campus that will host instructors, students, technical staff and equipment, quickly made available a series of facilities to allow the start of the course.

The IFTS aims to consolidate the process of growth and internationalization of the flight training activities of the Italian Air Force, increasing the range of courses available for foreign countries in order to meet the demand for advanced training from allied and partner nations. The project aims to provide Phase IV courses for pilots for 4th and 5th Generation combat aircraft, such as the Eurofighter and the F-35, and provides for a gradual growth of the Galatina Flight School through expansion at Decimomannu AFB.

Once fully operational, the IFTS will be able to offer an extremely flexible syllabus, as it is based on several modules, and therefore better adaptable to the different needs of the various Air Forces, as well as being able to double the number of Phase IV students trained in a year, from the current 30-40 up to about 80.

The school will include instructors from the Italian Air Force and Leonardo, who will work together for the first time in the context of the T-346 Integrated Training System (ITS). The T-346 ITS is an integrated platform in which the ground compartment (simulators and ground learning systems) merges with the aircraft, allowing the optimization of training activities and cost-effectiveness.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: Italian Air Force

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