Israel and Greece have signed their largest-ever defence procurement deal, Israel’s Defence Ministry said on Sunday.
As part of the deal, Israel’s Elbit Systems Ltd. will operate a training centre for the Greek air force under a contract worth about $1.65 billion, the ministry said.
‘sbit said it will supply new M-346 training aircraft and maintain the the Greek air force’s entire training fleet, comprising dozens of M-346 and T-6 aircraft, for a period of approximately 20 years.
The training center will be modeled on Israel’s own flight academy and will be equipped with 10 M-346 training aircraft produced by Italian company Leonardo, the ministry said.
Elbit will supply kits to upgrade and operate Greece’s T-6 aircraft and also provide training, simulators and logistical support.
“I am certain that (this program) will upgrade the capabilities and strengthen the economies of Israel and Greece and thus the partnership between our two countries will deepen on the defense, economic and political levels,” said Israeli defense minister Benny Gantz.
The announcement follows a meeting in Cyprus on Friday between the UAE, Greek, Cypriot and Israeli foreign ministers, who agreed to deepen cooperation between their countries.
Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems, said: “We are honored to have been awarded this contract to provide such an important capability to the Hellenic Air Force. This contract award attests to the leading position we hold in the area of pilot’s training solutions, providing tested know-how and proven technologies that improve operational readiness while reducing costs.”