The Israel Air Force (IAF) inaugurated the new Flight Training Center with Elbit Systems for the "Lavi" – M346 Trainer jet at Hatzerim Air Force Base on Monday.
The training center and Elbit Systems will run training for Israel's future fighter pilots on the new and soon to arrive Lavi trainer jet. The IAF developed and procured the new aircraft for training purposes with the Italian aerospace company, Aermacchi. The IAF ordered 30 such aircraft when it signed a deal
with Aermacchi 2 years ago and the first finished craft rolled off the assembly line in March 2014.
The Lavi will replace the IAF's current training plane, the "Skyhawk" or "Ayid" in Hebrew, which has been used to train Israel's Air Force pilots for the last 40 years.
A press release by Elbit stated, "This training will be performed based upon a new innovative concept where a high percentage of the syllabus is being practiced at the [facility's] Ground Based Training System (GBTS), with the trainees visiting the GTBS on a daily basis."