The Inspectorate for Armaments of the Ministry of National Defense of Poland signed on March 27, 2018 with the Leonardo Group (Italy) a contract for the supply of additional training aircraft for in-depth flight training M-346 Master (Polish designation “Belik” / Bielik).
The signed agreement provides for delivery of four additional M-346 “Master aircraft”, a material support package and seven basic training simulators within the base contract, which will expand the functionality of the training system for the Polish Air Force pilots. The ordered equipment should be transferred to the 41st base of training aviation in Demblin by October 31, 2020.
The contract includes an option for the sale of four additional M-346 aircraft, in the event that its delivery is to be completed by October 31, 2022.
The total value of the contract, which the Arms Inspectorate concluded on behalf of the Polish Treasury, is estimated at 1.0369 billion zł (245 million Euros), including a base agreement of about 490 million zł (115.8 million Euros) and option – about 550 million zł.
Delivered by the Polish Air Force’s training aircraft are different from the M-346, which are serially produced in Italy. The aircraft are equipped with modified on-board radio electronic equipment, which is specially adapted for training pilots F-16. The “Master” is also equipped with the so-called “curtain for blinding the pilot”, which closes the cabin and simulates difficult weather conditions.
Polish M-346 equipped with the latest version of software for on-board computers. This, in particular, allows simulating the combat situation, including various types of weapons and threats. In addition, the Polish version differs from the Italian by the presence of a brake parachute. Especially for Polish pilots, a digital information exchange system was installed.