The Israeli government has announced the signing of an agreement with Greece to provide training aircraft and to build a training school .
The Israeli government revealed on 4 January the signing of a government-to-government agreement on the training of the Hellenic Air Force (HAI). Within this framework, Israeli industry, through Elbit Systems, will supply ten M-346 training aircraft to the Greek force, produced by Leonardo, and will be in charge of the maintenance of the Texan T-6 s currently in service. The contract, estimated at $1.68 billion, also includes the supply of flight simulators, logistical support and a training component. This agreement should enable the Israeli industry to support the HAF over twenty years.
School of training
Israel won this contract following the publication of a call for tenders by the Greek government. The HAF's request also includes the construction of a training school, on Greek territory, to train fighter pilots. Elbit Systems will also be responsible for the implementation of this new infrastructure. While negotiations are now continuing between the two governments, Israel is hoping for an official signature of the contract in the coming weeks.
The Leonardo M-346 aircraft that will be used to train Greek pilots are the same as those used by the IAF (Israeli Air Force) in its « flight academy ». In addition to Italy, it is also in service in Poland and Singapore. This two-seater jet has modernised avionics, enabling pilots to be trained in an environment close to that encountered on board fighters. Although Israel will modify its aircraft in 2017, since they were initially delivered in a smooth configuration, i.e. without weapons or equipment under the wing, the version of the Greek M-346s has not yet been specified.