Greece and Israel have agreed to proceed to the creation and operation of an Air Force School for the Greek Air Force, the Israeli embassy in Greece announced. The training center, modeled on the school of the Israeli Air Force (IAF), will be located in Kalamata, South Greece.

Following an international tender, the Greek government has decided to assign the project to the Israeli candidate.

The agreement foresees the establishment and operation of a flight school for the Hellenic Air Force, by the Israel Ministry of Defense and the Israeli company Elbit Systems. Elbit Systems is an international high-technology company engaged in a wide range of defense, homeland security and commercial programs.

The agreementd, that will be signed by the Israeli and Greek Ministries of Defence, also includes the procurement of ten M-346 aircraft (Lavi) by the Italian company Leonardo, the maintenance of T-6 aircraft (Efroni), as well as the provision of simulators, training and logistic support.

The agreement amounts to around $1.68 billion and will span over 20 years. It is the largest defence procurement agreement to date between the two countries .

“This agreement reflects the excellent and developing relations we have with Greece” Israeli Defense Minister, Benny Gantz, said. “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.”

In the near future, SIBAT, the Directorate for International Defense Cooperation in the Israel Ministry of Defense, and Elbit Systems will sign the agreement to establish the Greek flight school.

“The Greek government’s approval of this agreement is a historic step in further deepening the excellent defense relations between our two countries” SIBAT Director, Brig. Gen. (Res.), Yair Kulas said. “This is not just a defense export agreement, but rather a partnership for at least 20 years.”

The Israeli embassy expressed confidence that this landmark agreement opens further new horizons of strategic and economic cooperation between the two countries.