Leonardo has signed a collaboration agreement with the Italian Air Force to establish an “International Flight Training School” (IFTS) to support military pilot training.
The agreement, signed between Leonardo’s CEO, Alessandro Profumo, and the Italian Air Force (IAF) Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli, will help strengthen the training services already offered by the Air Force’s 61st Wing.
“Starting from 2021, the Italian Air Force’s entire advanced and pre-operational training syllabus will be moved to a new, dedicated facility,” says Lt. Gen. Enzo Vecciarelli.
Based on the current plan, the IFTS will be able to deliver courses for Italian Air Force and international Air Force crews, fulfilling the training demands for military pilots worldwide.
The IFTS will ensure the further growth and internationalization of the Italian Air Force’s training school while at the same time increasing its capabilities and the range of pilot training solutions offered to the customers.
“The IFTS will leverage the existing training assets and expertise in advanced military pilot training of the Italian Air Force in addition to Leonardo supplying four additional M-346 aircraft, new systems and services starting from 2019,” says Profumo, CEO of Leonardo.
Hoping to seize new market opportunities and develop international collaborations, Profumo says, “We plan to extend this business model to cover training across fixed-wing, rotary-wing and remotely-piloted platforms.”
In order to maximize the success of this initiative, Leonardo has been in discussions with two major international players and leading companies in the training sector, Babcock International Group Plc and CAE, with the aim to reinforce IFTS capabilities.
Lt. Gen. Vecciarelli opines that the ongoing training programmes will benefit from new resources, including new trainers provided by Leonardo at no additional cost to the Air Force.
“This will maximize the quality of our military training pilots, who will fly 4th and 5th generation fighters. It will also meet the growing demand for training services from international partners,” he adds.
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