According to several Greek military sources, Greece and Israel have finalized an agreement to open a new international flight training school in Kalamata, Greece.
After five months of negotiations, the Greek government chose the proposal of Israel's Elbit Systems over that of the Canadian company CAE. The deal worth 1.365 billion euros will be carried out over 22 years.
Israel Defense has learned that the contract between the two governments is being negotiated, with SIBAT (the International Defense Cooperation Directorate of the Israeli MoD) negotiating on behalf of Israel. The contract has been approved in principle by the Greek parliament, and it is expected to be signed in early 2021 after approval by the Greek government.
The Blog Before Flight website reported that Greece has chosen Elbit for several reasons. First, the agreement will strengthen the strategic collaboration between the Hellenic Air Force and the Israeli Air Force, as Israel, the report said, has always sided with the Greeks in their fight against Turkey. Furthermore, the Israeli proposal was the cheapest as well as being guaranteed by the Israeli Ministry of Defense and by a company (Elbit) with many years of experience in the field of training. Elbit currently manages the Israeli Air Force flight training centers, including the fleet of 20 T-6 Texan II turboprops and 30 M-346 "Lavi" jets, according the website.
As part of the flight training school, Elbit will provide the Greek Air Force with a combat simulator called the Mission Training Center (MTC) similar to the one it provided to the Israeli Air Force as early as 2013.