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April 18, 2021 11:30 am
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Israel and Greece Sign Record Defense Deal

avatar by Reuters and Algemeiner Staff

Head of the Israeli Defense Ministry’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate Yair Kulas and Greek Director-General of the General Directorate for Defense Investments and Armaments Theodoros Lagios sign an unprecedented defense deal between Greece and Israel, April 16, 2021. Photo: Courtesy of Israel’s Government Press Office.

Israel and Greece have signed their biggest ever defense procurement deal, which Israel said on Sunday would strengthen political and economic ties between the countries.

The agreement includes a $1.65 billion contract for the establishment and operation of a training center for the Hellenic Air Force by Israeli defense contractor Elbit Systems over a 22-year period, Israel’s defense ministry said.

The training center will be modeled on Israel’s own flight academy and will be equipped with 10 M-346 training aircraft produced by Italian company Leonardo, the ministry said.

Elbit will supply kits to upgrade and operate Greece’s T-6 aircraft and also provide training, simulators, and logistical support.

“I am certain that (this program) will upgrade the capabilities and strengthen the economies of Israel and Greece and thus the partnership between our two countries will deepen on the defense, economic and political levels,” said Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz.

The announcement follows a meeting in Cyprus on Friday between the UAE, Greek, Cypriot, and Israeli foreign ministers, who agreed to deepen cooperation between their countries.

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