A Greek - Israeli International Flight Training Centre currently under construction in the city of Kalamata has visited by a delegation of government officials from both countries on Friday.
The head of Hellenic Air Force training, Air Vice-Marshal Georgios Vagenas (representing the Greek National Defence Ministry), the head of the Israeli Defense Ministry's International Defense Cooperation (SIBAT) Yair Kulas, and president and CEO of Elbit Systems, Bezhalel ("Butzi") Machlis were among those who visited the centre which is being built on the home base of the 120 Air Training Wing in the South-West Peloponnese.
Referring to the collaboration between Greece and Israel and Elbit, Vagenas said that "it will further strengthen the relations of the two countries, while absolutely guaranteeing the future of the Hellenic Air Force in flight training, upgrading impressively the entire capabilities of the 120 Air Training Wing."
A message was also sent by Israel's Minister of Defense Benny Gantz, who had to cancel his visit to Greece. He said that the training center is a project that reflects the deep and strong bond between the two countries and their defense facilities, a bond that is based in joint values and interests, as well as a long history of collaboration that greatly affects the region of the East Mediterranean.
Gantz called the project "a strategic investment in our friends' future capabilities that will further promote Greek ties to Israel and international partners." He also said he enjoyed speaking with Greek National Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, where both confirmed their intention to deepen collaboration. The training center, he noted, is proof of the progress and business experience that Israel's defense industries have.
Elbit Systems signed a contract on the flight center worth nearly 1.37 billion euros in April 2021 with the defense ministries of both countries, which includes procurement and operation of new training planes M-346, among other provisions.