Israel and Greece have finalized the details of the largest ever defense export deal between the two countries in which Israeli defense industries will provide the Hellenic Air Force with a flight training academy in the coming 20 years.
The $1.86 billion agreement, which will be signed between the defense ministries of the two countries, includes the establishment and operation of a flight training center by Elbit Systems for the Hellenic Air Force for 20 years and includes the purchase of 10 M-346 Lavie training aircraft, and assistance in the upgrading T-6 Lark aircraft, supply of simulators, training and logistics.
The Greek government announced that the Israeli Ministry of Defense has won an international competition to establish a flight training center for the Greek Air Force, through Elbit Systems. The confirmation allows the parties to advance negotiations to sign the contract.
The Defense Ministry’s SIBAT International Defense Cooperation will establish and operate a flight training center for the Greek Air Force modeled after the Israeli Air Force Flight School.
The Greek Air Force will be equipped with 10 M-346 training aircraft produced by the Italian Leonardo company. The Lavis fly in the IAF flight school and are considered a great success.
Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz stated Tuesday that “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 countries, a partnership that will promote stability in the Mediterranean, and create hundreds of jobs in both countries.”
He shared that when he received the phone call from Greek Minister of Defense Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos about the approval of the deal, he told him that he “greatly appreciates his personal involvement in advancing the move and passing it in the Greek Parliament” and also noted his “satisfaction with the recent strengthening of security relations between our countries.”
SIBAT Director, Brig. Gen. (Res.), Yair Kulas stated that “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,” he noted.