The training center will not only be for pilots of the Hellenic Air Force, but also for pilots of other countries. Credit: Hellenic Airforce
Greece and Israel signed off on the creation of an international air force training center in Greece, the National Defense Ministry reported on Friday.
Signed by armed forces officials of both countries, the agreement allows for the center to be set up at the 120 Air Training Wing in Kalamata, Peloponnese.
The signing was attended by Israeli Defense Attache in Greece, Colonel Υossi Pinto, President and CEO of Elbit Systems Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, and a delegation from Israel.
The creation of the flight training center is part of a $1.68 billion deal between Israel and Greece — the largest-ever defense agreement between the two countries — which also provides for the Hellenic Air Force to acquire 10 M-346 aircraft.
Israel will also provide simulators, training and logistical support as part of the 20-year deal.
Increasingly close relationship between Greece and IsraelIt is part of an increasingly close relationship between Athens and Jerusalem that has seen Greece lease Israeli drones and also involved a pipeline deal signed last year.
Athens attaches great importance to the agreement as it expands the strategic relationship with Israel, but also because it provides a solution to the problem of training Hellenic Air Force pilots.
The training center will not only be for pilots of the Hellenic Air Force, but also for pilots of other countries.
Israeli Defense Ministry Benny Gantz said in early January, that the deal reflected the excellent and developing relations 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,” he said, commending “recent strengthening of defense relations between our countries” and noting “my expectation that these will deepen further.”
Greece and Israel Sign Off Deal for Air Force Training Center
Greece and Israel signed off on the creation of an international air force training center in Greece, the National Defense Ministry reported.