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The Italian Air Force’s world-renowned excellence in flight training combined with Leonardo and CAE’s leadership in delivering proven integrated training solutions, resulted in the creation of the International Flight Training School (IFTS) in Italy.

Leonardo and CAE partnered to deliver comprehensive, lead-in fighter training to the Italian Air Force and trainees from other allied nations.  Located in a brand-new 35,000 square meter campus at the Decimomannu Air Base (Sardinia), the IFTS is the international benchmark for advanced pilot training.

The IFTS provides a comprehensive Phase IV Advanced / Lead-in Fighter Training (LIFT) program based on the Italian Air Force syllabus, leveraging the capabilities of the M-346 Integrated Training System including a state-of-the-art Ground Based Training System (GBTS) jointly developed by CAE and Leonardo to train future fighter pilots who are not only required to be proficient pilots, but also need to manage the entire weapon system in scenarios which are becoming increasingly more complex.

The IFTS offers customized teaching modules, compliant with the syllabus of partner air forces, including its basic training, to support the student pilot in achieving the desired proficiency and output standard, further enabling the download of training from the Operational Conversion Unit (OCU) to save time and valuable resources, while delivering better-prepared pilots.
The Italian Air Force conducts its lead-in fighter training at the IFTS and third-party customers are invited to sign a government-to-government agreement with Italy to send students to the IFTS. 

Our Customers


Training Environment

Live, Virtual, Constructive (LVC) training environment

Academic / Classroom Training

Networked Simulator / Training Devices

Live Flying Training

Our Numbers

A new campus of over 35,000 sqm on an area of over 130,000 sqm

22 M-346 Advanced Jet Trainers

Up to 80 pilots trained every year, including both Italian and foreign pilots who choose to train in Italy

Up to 8,000 flight hours per year

40 Instructors

Available Training Programs

Phase IV Lead-in fighter training program

Available Training Courses / Courseware

Phase IV lead-in fighter training program based on the Italian Air Force syllabus 

Customised teaching modules according to the syllabus of the incoming Air Force

  • M-346 Qualification (comprehensive type conversion with basic elements of A2A and A2G in LVC environment)
  • Air-to-Air (A2A)
  • Air-to-Ground (A2G)
  • Emergency Recurrent Training
  • Advanced Air-to-Air (A2A) – optional
  • Night Vision Goggles (NVG) – optional
  • Air-to-Air Refuelling (AAR) – optional
  • Air-to-Ground Live Range (A2G) - optional

Each module follows the Italian Air Force (ItAF) syllabus, with each option priced individually. Partner nations select modules to fit operational requirements and budget profiles. 

Complete Lead-in Fighter Training (LIFT) course, using a balance of synthetic training hours to complement and inter-operate with live flying hours.

Platforms / Manufacturers

Leonardo M-346 advanced jet trainers 

Available Equipment / Products

Leonardo M-346 advanced jet trainers 

Ground-based training systems (GBTS), including:

Two Full Mission Simulators

Three Part Task Trainers synthetic simulators with CAE’s cutting edge Medallion MR e-Series visual system  which integrates a back-projection 360-degree dome display system, industry-standard CAE Medallion image generators and state-of-the-art projectors, to create an immersive fast-jet virtual training environment.

International Flight Training School (IFTS) - Video