Elbit seals $1.65 billion deal with Greek air force
The Israeli company, under contract by the Ministry of Defense, will build and operate a flight training center, provide Greece with 10 M-346 Italian aircraft, and upgrade existing aircraft
The largest deal in the history of Israeli defense powerhouse Elbit Systems Ltd. was officially announced on Sunday, with the company signing a contract valued at approximately $1.65 billion for the establishment and operation of the International Flight Training Center of the Hellenic Air Force. The Greek government had announced in January of this year that the Israeli Ministry of Defense had won the tender for Elbit Systems, and the contract was officially signed this past Friday. The contract will be executed over a period of approximately 20 years and will include price indexation.
Elbit, which already operates the Israeli Air Force’s flight school’s aircraft, is set to build a similar training center for the Hellenic Air Force, which will include 10 Italian-made Aermacchi M-346 aircraft made by the Leonardo Company, “Lavi” multirole fighter jets that are used by the Israeli flight school, and kits to upgrade flight systems on existing T-6 aircraft (also known as “Efroni” planes in the Israeli Air Force).
A Lavi training jet. Photo: Ministry of Defense
"We are honored to have been awarded this contract to provide such an important capability to the Hellenic Air Force," said Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis, President and CEO of Elbit Systems. "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."
In the past few years, defense relations between Israel and Greece have been strengthened. Greece purchased UAVs from Israel Aerospace Industries, and the Hellenic Air Force holds routine training exercises with the Israeli Air Force. The Greek navy is also expected to purchase new missile ships from Israeli shipyards.