Alenia Aermacchi’s plant in Venegono has begun assembling Israel’s first M-346 advanced jet trainer. The three major components of the first aircraft are currently being joined to form the aircraft’s structure. Israel’s first M-346 – to be called Lavi – in IAF designation – will make its way down the assembly line and roll out of the factory for final checks and delivery to the IAF in the mid of 2014. Israel ordered a total of 30 M-346 as advanced trainers to replace the TA-4 Skyhawk and F-16A/B s Falcons currently in service.
Israel is expecting to receive the first two aircraft in 2014 with remaining 28 to be delivered through 2016.