WARSAW, Poland — The Polish Ministry of Defence has signed a deal worth more than €115 million (U.S. $143 million) to acquire four M-346 Master jet trainers from Italy’s Leonardo, with an option to purchase an additional four aircraft.

Under the plan, deliveries of the aircraft are to be completed by the end of October 2020.

“The Italian jet trainers will be mostly used in Poland to train candidates for F-16 aircraft pilots, and the [Polish] Air Force will acquire autonomy in the training process,” the ministry said in a statement.

The country’s Air Force operates a fleet of 48 F-16C/D Block 52+ fighters.

Leonardo said in a statement that the latest deal “builds on Leonardo’s significant footprint in Poland where it has 3,000 highly-skilled employees at its PZL helicopter site in Świdnik.”

The jet trainers will be supplied along with a logistics package and seven simulators, according to the ministry.

In February 2014, Poland signed a contract worth 1.167 billion zloty (U.S. $343 million) to acquire eight M-346s with related logistic support, a training program for pilots and engineers, and a ground-based training system. Deliveries of the eight aircraft were completed in late 2017.

Jaroslaw Adamowski is the Poland correspondent for Defense News.

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