Elbit Systems Ltd. announced that following a competitive process, and as part of an agreement between the Israeli Ministry of Defense (Misrad HaBitahon) and the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense (Υπουργείο Εθνικής Άμυνας), the Company was selected to establish and operate the International Flight Training Center of the Hellenic Air Force (“Flight Training Center”). The anticipated contract award is contingent on completion of commercial negotiations with the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense. The Hellenic Government approved the establishment and operation of the Flight Training Center by the Israeli Ministry of Defense and Elbit Systems for an amount of approximately $1.68 billion (approximately €1.375 billion) for a period of approximately 20 years.
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.”
Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, said “This agreement reflects the excellent and developing relations we have with Greece. It is a long-term partnership that will serve the interests of both Israel and Greece, create hundreds of jobs in both countries, and promote stability in the Mediterranean. In the phone call that I received after the agreement was approved, I thanked my friend the Greek Minister of Defense, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, and expressed my appreciation for his personal involvement in advancing this project. I also commended the recent strengthening of defense relations between our countries and noted my expectation that these will deepen further. ”
It also includes the procurement of ten M-346 aircraft (Lavi), the maintenance of T-6 aircraft (Efroni), as well as the provision of simulators, training and logistic support. The G-to-G agreement amounts to around $1.68 billion and will span over 20 years. 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 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.