Leonardo and PGZ Group segment Wojskowe Zakłady Lotnicze Nr 1 (WZL1) have signed a contract for the long-term support of the Polish Air Force’s M-346 Bielik advanced jet trainers.
The agreement supports efforts to enhance the fleet’s availability and meet the evolving needs of combat pilot trainees.
Under the contract, Leonardo will provide related engineering services for the fleet.
The company said it would leverage its manufacturing equipment role in the operational system and supply chain management for the Polish Bieliks throughout the program.
WZL1 will be the main contractor. It will coordinate the overall process, maintain cooperation with the end user, and support areas where Leonardo is not involved.
Supporting Pilot Training in Poland
Leonardo will utilize its expertise in a global military business, while WZL1 will use its experience to assist Polish defense capabilities.
“With more than 100,000 hours flown, the cutting-edge M-346 has cemented its position as the world’s best advanced jet trainer for today’s and tomorrow’s fighter pilots,” Leonardo Aircraft Division’s Dario Marfè stated.
“At the forefront of jet training technology, the M-346 will continue to represent the best way to develop a fighter pilot’s skills for decades to come.”
“This agreement strengthens Leonardo’s partnership with WZL1, creating new opportunities to transfer additional activities in Poland, in accordance with a proven and flexible logistic support model that Leonardo has established in several countries, which foresees a transfer of capabilities to local defence industries.”
Bieliks in International Militaries
The Polish Air Force currently has 16 M-346 aircraft deployed under the 41st Training Air Base in Dęblin. The Bielik was commissioned in 2018 and is set to replace the service’s TS-11 Iskra jet trainers.
More than 100 M-346s are operational in international forces.
The aircraft is the backbone of the International Flight Training School, a joint program of Leonardo and the Italian Air Force.