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An expansive defense agreement was signed between the Israeli and Greek Ministries of Defense. The Israel Ministry of Defense participated in an international tender for this project, and its winning bid was approved by the Greek government.
The Greek government confirmed that the Israel Ministry of Defense has won the international competition for the establishment and operation of a flight school for the Hellenic Air Force, by Elbit Systems. The approval from Athens enables the parties to move forward in the negotiations leading to the signing of a contract.
In the near future, SIBAT, the Directorate for International Defense Cooperation in the Israel Ministry of Defense, and Elbit Systems will sign the agreement to establish the Greek flight school. Modeled after the Israel Air Force (IAF) flight academy, the Greek school will be equipped with 10 M-346 training aircraft produced by an Italian company, Leonardo. Otherwise known as “Lavi,” these aircraft are also employed in the Israeli flight school and are considered very successful.
Within the framework of the agreement, Elbit Systems will provide kits to upgrade and operate the Hellenic Air Force’s T-6 aircraft (Efroni). Elbit will also provide training, simulators and logistical support. In the future, the parties will also consider areas of cooperation between the Israeli and Greek flight academies.
The G-to-G agreement amounts to around $1.68 billion and will span over 20 years. As part of the agreement, the flight school will be built and maintained by Elbit systems. The company will provide simulators, training and logistic support, according to IMoD’s announcement.
SIBAT Director, Brig. Gen. (Res.), Yair Kulas: “The Greek government’s approval of this agreement is a historic step in further deepening the excellent defense relations between our two countries. This is not just a defense export agreement, but rather a partnership for at least 20 years. I would like to thank the Greek Ministry of National Defense for its trust and for assigning this important task to the Israel Ministry of Defense and our excellent defense industry.”
Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, said: “We are honored to have been selected to provide such an important capability to the Hellenic Air Force, which we believe will contribute to the further strengthening of the bi-lateral relationship between Israel and Greece. This selection attests to the leading position we hold in the area of training, providing tested know-how and proven technologies that improve readiness while reducing costs.”