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IAF Chooses Italian M-346 Over T-50


Israeli Ministry of Defense has decided to procure the Italian M-346 to
replace the antiquated Skyhawk training aircraft. IAF pilots examined
both aircrafts and submitted reports to indicate which plane met their

Earlier in the week, South Korean representatives complained about the lack of transparency on the deal.

the decision was made, the Israeli Ministry of Defense responded by
saying, “The Ministry is conducting contacts with the South Korean and
Italian industries and governments, with full transparency and while
providing both industries with an equal opportunity. Contacts were
conducted in the recent months within the framework of the process,
which allowed the industries to offer the best exchange deal to the
defense establishment, as well as present the aircraft and its
capabilities to the IAF in the most detailed manner.

“The data
and proposals which were delivered by both governments and industries
during the past several months will enable the examination of the
overall package in a fair and equal basis, as is done by the Ministry.”
Prior to the selection, Italy and South Korea battled it out to close the deal.

Korean representatives had met with senior defense establishment
officials during the Air exhibition in Singapore, and demanded that the
process of selecting the new air force training aircraft be conducted
“with full transparency” and publish “a request for proposals” before
any decision was made.

Meetings took place during the
international air exhibition between top Israeli and South Korean
officials, including Minister of Defense Ehud Barak.