Israel signs major defense deal with Greece

Yoram Shmuely, general manager Elbit Systems Aerospace Division, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Greek Minister of Defense  credit: Elbit Systems

In the $1.65 billion deal, Elbit Systems will set up an International Flight Training Center for the Hellenic Air Force.

Israel has signed a defense deal with Greece worth NIS 5.4 billion ($1.65 billion). The Israeli Ministry of Defense, through Elbit Systems Ltd. (Nasdaq: ESLT; TASE: ESLT), will set up an International Flight Training Center for the Hellenic Air Force, on the model of the Israel Air Force flying school.

Under the agreement, Elbit Systems will supply new M-346 training aircraft and will maintain the entire training fleet, comprising dozens of M-346 and T-6 training aircraft for a period of approximately 20 years. In addition, the company will provide its latest advanced Embedded Virtual Avionics (EVA) onboard the training aircraft, and deliver networked flight simulators and an array of Ground-Based Training Stations. The contract also includes command and control systems to facilitate effective management of flight training.

In Athens on Friday, Brig. Gen. (Res.), Yair Kulas, head of the International Defense Cooperation Directorate of the Israel Ministry of Defense (SIBAT) signed the deal, the largest ever defense procurement contract between Israel and Greece. For the Greek government, the deal was signed by Minister of Defense Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, while Elbit Systems was represented by its president and CEO Bezhalel (Butzi) Machlis and Yoram Shmueli, general manager of Elbit Systems' Aerospace Division.

Israel's Minister of Defense Benny Gantz said, "This cooperation agreement rests on the excellence of Israeli industry and on the strong relationship between the Greek and Israeli defense establishments over many years. I thank the Greek Minister of Defense, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, for advancing the deal that was discussed at the last trilateral meeting in Cyprus. I am confident that this upgrade in capabilities and this boost to the economies of Greece and Israel will deepen the partnership between the two countries, in its security, economic, and diplomatic aspects."

"We are honored to have been awarded this contract to provide such an important capability to the Hellenic Air Force," Machlis said. "This contract award attests to the leading position we hold in the area of pilot training solutions, providing tested know-how and proven technologies that improve operational readiness while reducing costs."

Elbit Systems' simulation business has expanded in the past two years through several deals. The company was selected by Boeing to supply embedded training capabilities for the US Air Force's T-7 Red Hawk aircraft, and won a contract to provide the British Royal Navy with a range of simulation capabilities. It also delivered a Brigade and Battlegroup Mission Training Center to the Israeli Defense Force, and won a contract for helicopter flight simulation for the Italian Ministry of Defense.

In addition, since 2016, Elbit Systems and its partner KBR have provided procurement, operations, and maintenance services for the Royal Air Force's Basic Flying Training program, which operates dozens of aircraft of three different types in three Royal Air Force bases in the UK.

Published by Globes, Israel business news - en.globes.co.il - on April 18, 2021

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2021

Yoram Shmuely, general manager Elbit Systems Aerospace Division, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Greek Minister of Defense  credit: Elbit Systems
Yoram Shmuely, general manager Elbit Systems Aerospace Division, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Greek Minister of Defense credit: Elbit Systems
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