On Monday 4 December, the Chief of Staff of the Italian Air Force, Lieutenant General Luca Goretti, and the Chief of Staff of the Swedish Air Force, Major General Jonas Wikman, signed an important document relating to the training of military pilots.
The signing, which was held in “remote” mode, with a connection between the offices of the two Generals, in Italy and Sweden, closed an agreement to send Swedish military pilots to flight training courses in Italy at the 61st Wing, both at a basic level (Phases 2 and 3 of the training path), which is held at Galatina airbase, and at an advanced level (Phase 4) at the 212th IFTS Group (International Flight Training School), at Decimomannu airbase.
The agreement provides for a constant inclusion of student pilots from the Swedish Air Force over the years, distributed over a decade, for a total of one hundred students and four instructor pilots.
Sweden, thus, joins a large group of countries that over the last few years have chosen Italy for flight training, convinced by the excellence of the offer and training structures, both at Galatina and at Decimomannu’s IFTS: Austria, Canada, Germany, Japan, Qatar, Singapore, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Sweden and Kuwait.
The International Flight Training School was born from the strategic collaboration between the Air Force and Leonardo S.p.a. for the creation of an advanced flight training center intended to constitute an international point of reference in the training of military pilots starting from Phase 4 (Advanced/Lead-In to Fighter Training). The IFTS uses a modular, very versatile syllabus, based on the innovative T-346A Integrated Training System, particularly effective for training pilots for a wide range of latest generation fighters, including the F-35, the Eurofighter and the Gripen.
General Goretti, before proceeding to sign the agreement, expressed his satisfaction by declaring: “This is a further significant step for the safety of European skies: finding agreements and synergies between countries that share spaces and orientations is always productive. Working with Swedish colleagues will represent an opportunity for growth for both countries. This agreement also represents another fundamental piece for the IFTS project, in which the Country System is investing with trust, conviction and, above all, results. A project born thanks to the full and convinced support of the Ministry of Defense and which is also based on the profitable and proven synergy with Leonardo.”
“I am happy that the agreement has now been signed and that we have the necessary conditions to get started with qualified flight training that meets the requirements of the future,” says Air Force Chief Jonas Wikman.
This Air Campus is an example of collaboration and synergy for the country system which aims to satisfy the growing demand of the Air Force and partner countries for the training of their pilots. The project will in fact make it possible to double the current training offer through the creation of a new training center distributed between the Galatina base and the Decimomannu base in Sardinia, home to the new IFTS campus. It is a complex structure capable of hosting students and technical staff, also equipped with recreational areas, canteen, sports facilities, logistics and maintenance infrastructure capable of managing a fleet of 22 T-346A aircraft. Furthermore, an entire building is dedicated to the highly advanced Ground Based Training System (GBTS), a modern training system based on latest generation simulation systems.
File photo courtesy Italian Air Force/Leonardo