Leonardo and CAE team up to support International Flight Training School in Italy

March 29, 2021

The International Flight Training School (IFTS) will relocate in 2022 to Decimomannu Italian Air Force Base (Sardinia Region – South Italy), shown here in this artist rendering.

The M-346 advanced jet trainer will be used at the International Flight Training School (IFTS) for Phase IV lead-in fighter training.

The International Flight Training School features a comprehensive M-346 ground-based training system, including full-mission simulators, jointly developed by CAE and Leonardo.

Leonardo and CAE 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.

“Our commitment to deliver to the IFTS customers a best-in-class training capability is further demonstrated by the choice of CAE as our IFTS partner. The joint venture represents the ideal framework to further leverage our successful collaboration on the M-346 ground-based training system, while ensuring us the agility and flexibility to meet challenging and tailored customer requirements,” said Leonardo Aircraft Division Managing Director, Marco Zoff. “Leonardo, CAE and the Italian Air Force’s world-renowned excellence will guarantee advanced top level training for the modern air forces at reduced cost in order to satisfy a growing demand in advanced flight training.”

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.

“CAE and Leonardo have a longstanding industrial relationship and we are pleased to invest jointly with Leonardo and the Italian Air Force in this groundbreaking public-private partnership to operate the International Flight Training School,” said Marc-Olivier Sabourin, Vice President and General Manager, Defence & Security International, CAE.  “The partnership between Leonardo and CAE will support the M-346 Integrated Training System, which is a pivotal element of a modern and innovative Lead-In to Fighter Training (LIFT) program for next generation pilots.”

About Leonardo

Leonardo, a global high-technology company, is among the top ten world players in Aerospace, Defence and Security and Italy’s main industrial company. Organized into five business divisions, Leonardo has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the USA, where it also operates through subsidiaries that include Leonardo DRS (defense electronics), and joint ventures and partnerships: ATR, MBDA, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and Avio. Leonardo competes in the most important international markets by leveraging its areas of technological and product leadership (Helicopters, Aircraft, Aerostructures, Electronics, Cyber Security and Space).

Listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (LDO), in 2019 Leonardo recorded consolidated revenues of €13.8 billion and invested €1.5 billion in Research and Development. The company has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) since 2010 and has been named as sustainability global leader in the Aerospace & Defence sector for the second year in a row of DJSI in 2020.

Learn more at www.leonardocompany.com