During his visit to Israel last week, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is said to have held talks with Israeli firm Elbit Systems over establishing a new training center for Hellenic Air Force pilots in Kalamata city.
“The contract involves construction of an international training flight center in Kalamata with financial lease. Essentially, it will be possible for airlines from other parts of the wider geographical area to be trained in Greece. Such a training center will also compete with Italy, where such services are already offered, such as at the Lecce Air Training Center,” Ptisi & Diastima, a Greek-based magazine reported on June 22.
The new facility is expected to cost €1.4 billion over 20 years. Students currently train at Icarus Air Force Academy with obsolete material.
CAE Canada had also offered to build the Greek facility but the Israeli firm may have the upper hand.
The work involves upgrade of helicopter training systems, aircraft maintenance and modernization of simulators.
Greece also plans to lease two Israeli ‘Heron’ surveillance drones to bolster its intelligence gathering abilities during its current ‘cold’ conflict with Turkey.