Today, at the Decimomannu Air Force base in Sardinia, the ceremony for laying the first stone of the new International Flight Training School. Present among others, the Undersecretary of State for Defense, Giulio Calvisi, the President of the Sardinia Region, the Hon. Christian Solinas, the Chief of Defense Staff, General Enzo Vecciarelli, the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, Air Force General Alberto Rosso, the President of Leonardo, Luciano Carta, the CEO of Leonardo, Alessandro Profumo and the head of Leonardo's Aircraft Division, Marco Zoff.
L'International Flight Training School (IFTS) was born from the strategic collaboration between the Italian Air Force and Leonardo for the construction of an advanced flight training center that will be the international reference in the training of military pilots starting from the advanced stage of the training of those pilots subsequently employed on aircraft latest generation hunting.
Luciano Carta, president of Leonardo, stated that “The International Flight Training School brings a very high degree of technological innovation and cutting-edge training skills, which will contribute to enhancing the role of our Aeronautics and of our Company in an increasingly complex and competitive international context. For this reason, Leonardo will provide skills, technology and innovation to support the creation of the most important training center for military aviation, a source of pride for Italy, for Europe and for our strategic allies ".
Alessandro Profumo, CEO of Leonardo said: “The International Flight Training School, able to meet the growing demand of the Air Force and partner countries for the training of its pilots, represents a virtuous example of synergistic collaboration between the Armed Force and Industry with important repercussions for the country system. We have shared the consolidated know-how of the Italian Air Force and Leonardo's excellence in the field of integrated systems for training military pilots, optimizing the cost / effectiveness ratio for pilot training and strengthening the international positioning of Leonardo as Training Service Provider ".
"Today's event, albeit simple and unfortunately limited to the presence of a few authorities, represents an important moment and at the same time a further piece of an ambitious project of international importance not only for the Air Force and for Leonardo but for everything the Country System "Air Force General Alberto Rosso, Chief of Staff of the Air Force, said. “From today, work begins on this AM base for the construction of the infrastructures that will house a very modern advanced flight school. It will train the Italian and foreign military pilots who have recognized and affirm the validity and effectiveness of our integrated training system, developed and intended for those who will fly on 4th and 5th generation aircraft. Together with Leonardo " - added Gen. Rosso - “We combine skills and technologies to create, in the most cost-effective way, cutting-edge professionals, capable of operating and managing increasingly technological and complex aircraft. The competence, quality and long experience of both the Air Force and our industry in the field of training are the best business card for this innovative and absolutely excellent training offer ".
“We are talking about an important project which, due to its military and industrial commitment in IFTS, already foresees a period of activity at least twenty years. The partnership between the Italian Air Force, with a long and consolidated experience in flight training, and Leonardo leader in integrated training, represents a clear synergy between two Italian excellences, a collaboration that will generate on the one hand an expansion of the offer training, with important positive effects also on the local induced in terms of direct and indirect employment and on the other the possibility, for Leonardo, to attract further foreign investments, strengthening the prestige and world leadership in the sector ", declared the Undersecretary of Defense, Giulio Calvisi.
With the start of the works for the construction of the new IFTS campus at the Decimomannu base, a real flight academy will be created capable of hosting students, technical staff as well as recreational areas, canteen, sports facilities, logistic-maintenance infrastructures that will have to manage the operations of the fleet of 22 M-346 aircraft (called T-346A by the Italian Air Force). An entire building will be dedicated to Ground Based Training System (GBTS) to host the training rooms and the installation of a modern training system based on latest generation simulation systems. The realization of these works will have positive repercussions in favor of the local industry. Once the infrastructural adaptation has been completed, the IFTS will be operational starting from 2022, generating important employment effects on the territory.
Thanks to the imminent arrival of Leonardo's new M-345 at the base of the 61st Wing of the Air Force in Galatina (Lecce), which will gradually replace the T-339A and FT-339C fleets, we will proceed with the progressive relocation of the advanced phase of the training syllabus, based on the M-346 aircraft, at the Decimomannu base.
Leonardo's M-346 represents the spearhead of the Air Force flight training department, where in addition to the Italian pilots, those from other countries such as the United States, Spain, France, Austria, Holland, have already trained. Poland, Singapore, Argentina, Greece and Kuwait.