CAE and Leonardo today announced the two companies have created a joint venture called Leonardo CAE Advanced Jet Training Srl to support the operations of the International Flight Training School (“IFTS”) in Italy.
The joint venture will provide training support services, including full maintenance and operation of the M-346 aircraft and its ground-based training system, as well as operation of IFTS base facilities.
The IFTS, a unique partnership between the Italian Air Force (ItAF) and Leonardo, has been created to deliver a comprehensive lead-in to fighter training to the Italian Air Force and foreign customers. The IFTS advanced training program, based on the Phase IV of the Italian Air Force syllabus, can rely on the M-346 ground-based training system, including the advanced full-mission simulator jointly developed by Leonardo and CAE.
The IFTS is currently located at 61st Wing – Galatina (Apulia Region – South Italy) Italian Air Force Base and will be relocated, starting from 2022, to Decimomannu Italian Air Force Base (Sardinia Region – South Italy) where a groundbreaking ceremony was held in December 2020 to formally begin construction on a modern flight training campus.
The industrial partnership between Leonardo and CAE in the form of the joint venture will manage and conduct the day-to-day operations of the IFTS. The IFTS will operate a fleet of 22 M-346 advanced jet trainers, an aircraft that features a range of embedded training capabilities enabling extensive live, virtual and constructive training. Training will be delivered by a cadre of active-duty Italian Air Force and highly experienced international former military instructor pilots.