USAF certifies Polish M-346 training system for F-16 and F-35 pilots

The Polish Air Force Flight Training School in Deblin received a USAF certificate confirming that its Leonardo M-346 The Beilik aircraft is equivalent to training on the American T-38 Talon at the Introduction for Fighter Fundamentals (IFF) level.

The school also met all the requirements to train F-35 and F-16 pilots. The certification process took place at the end of last year and lasted a week.

The certification not only means that Polish aircrew will not have to travel to the United States to train, but that Ukrainian, Romanian, Slovak and Bulgarian pilots can also be trained in Poland.

The Deblin M-346 instructor, Pilot Major Mariusz Fischer, said: “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 see us and carefully checked how we were training.

He added that officials assessed the instructors’ teaching skills and verified the training phases in the M-346 flight simulator, including mission planning, briefing, aerial activity and debriefing.

“The Americans also evaluated our infrastructure for functionality, the number of planes and simulators available. They also analyzed training documentation and the flight safety system. Everything was carefully assessed,” Fischer said.

The instructor pointed out that although the inspection had very positive results and the United States was satisfied with the level of sophistication of the training system, “their number is insufficient for the fleet of aircraft acquired and this could affect the maintenance of the expected rate of formation”. ‘

The acquisition of an additional simulator seems inevitable to achieve the desired capacity of the system.

According to Overview of the Shephard Defenseby the end of 2022, the Polish Air Force will have a fleet of 16 M-346s that will allow it to complete the modernization of its head fighter training fleet.

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