© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz wears a mask while looking out from a helicopter window during a tour of the Gaza border area in southern Israel
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Israel and Greece signed the largest defense procurement deal ever, which Israel said on Sunday will strengthen political and economic ties between the two countries and the force The air force of the two countries conducted a joint exercise.
The deal includes a $ 1.65 billion contract to establish and operate a training center for the Hellenic Air Force of Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems (NASDAQ 🙂 for a period of 22 years, Israel’s Defense Ministry said.
The training center will be modeled after Israel’s own flight academy and will be equipped with 10 M-346 training aircraft manufactured by the Italian company Leonardo, the ministry said.
Elbit will provide kits to upgrade and operate Greek T-6 aircraft, and provide training, simulation and logistical support services.
Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz said: “I am sure (this program) will upgrade the capacities and strengthen the economies of Israel and Greece and thus our partnership between our two countries will deeper on the defense, economic and political levels ”.
The announcement comes after a meeting in Cyprus on Friday between the ministers of the UAE, Greece, Cyprus and Israel, who have agreed to strengthen cooperation among their countries.
The Israeli military said that the Israeli and Greek air forces launched a joint exercise in Greece.
During at least one previous exercise in Greece, Israeli fighters practiced the S-300 on the island of Crete. Russian-made air defense systems are also deployed in Syria and Iran, enemies of Israel. An Israeli military spokesman did not immediately respond to a Reuters question about whether the air force would again train against the Greek S-300 in the latest drills.
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