Israel and Greece sign “largest ever” security procurement deal

Israel and Greece have signed their “largest ever” security procurement deal, the Israeli defense ministry said on Sunday.

The agreement, signed in Athens on Friday, includes the establishment and operation of a 5.4 billion shekels (about 1.65 billion U.S. dollars) training center for the Hellenic Air Force over a period of 22 years.

The center will be modeled after the Israel Air Force flight academy, and will be equipped with 10 M-346 training aircraft produced by Leonardo, an aerospace and security company headquartered in Italy.

Elbit Systems, an Israeli weapons and security company, will establish the center, according to the statement. Elbit will provide kits to upgrade and operate the Hellenic Air Force’s T-6 aircraft. It will also provide training, simulators and logistical support.

“In the future, the parties will also consider areas of cooperation between the Israeli flight academy and Hellenic Airforce Academy,” the statement read.

Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said in the statement that he was certain that the cooperation agreement “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.”

Israel and Greece have carried out a series of government-to-government (G2G) talks over the past years to promote cooperation in the fields of tourism, economy, and defense.