Israel and Greece will sign a $1.7 billion security agreement, according to an Israeli Defense Ministry statement.
According to the Jerusalem Post, included in the agreement is the establishment of a flight school for the Hellenic Air Force, maintenance of T-6 aircraft and procurement of 10 M-346 aircraft. The 20-year agreement also includes the cooperation of simulators, training and logistic support. Elbit Systems, Israel’s largest private arms company, will oversee the flight school.
“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,” Defense Minister Benny Gantz said.
“In the phone call that I received after the agreement was approved, I thanked my friend the Greek Minister of Defense, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, and expressed my appreciation for his personal involvement in advancing this project.
“I also commended the recent strengthening of defense relations between our countries and noted my expectation that these will deepen further,” he added.
According to The Jerusalem Post, the defense agreement is the largest between Israel and Greece ever approved.
The new flight school is Greece will be modeled after the Israel Air Force flight academy. The 10 M-345 aircraft, also known as “Lavi,” will be used as training aircraft. The Israeli flight school also uses the Lavi planes.
“The Greek government’s approval of this agreement is a historic step in further deepening the excellent defense relations between our two countries,” said SIBAT director Brig. Gen. Yair Kulas. “This is not just a defense export agreement, but rather a partnership for at least 20 years. I would like to thank the Greek Ministry of National Defense for its trust and for assigning this important task to the Israel Ministry of Defense and our excellent defense industry.”
In November, Israel, Greece and Greek Cyprus approved an agreement, saying they would reinforce military cooperation with one another.