Elbit to supply M-346s to Greece for new training school

Elbit Systems has been awarded a contract, worth approximately US$1.65bn (€1.38bn), for the establishment and operation of the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) International Flight Training Centre.

The deal, announced by the Israeli company on April 18, will include the supply of ten Leonardo M-346 advanced lead-in fighter trainer (LIFT) aircraft by Elbit, which will maintain the entire training fleet, comprised of dozens of M-346 and T-6A Texan II training aircraft, for a period of approximately 20 years.

M-346 Lavi [Israeli Air Force]
An Israeli Air Force M-345 Lavi. Israel’s Elbit Systems is to supply M-346s to the Hellenic Air Force for its new International Flight Training Centre. Israeli Air Force

Elbit had announced on January 5 that it had been selected for the requirement as part of an agreement between the Israeli Ministry of Defence and the Hellenic Ministry of National Defence.

The company will also provide its latest advanced Embedded Virtual Avionics (EVA) onboard the training aircraft, deliver networked flight simulators and an array of Ground-Based Training Stations (GBTS) as well as command and control systems to enable efficient management of the flight training operation.

Known by Leonardo as the T-346 Master, the advanced LIFT aircraft is currently operated by the air forces of Israel (where it is known locally as the ‘Lavi’), Italy, Poland and Singapore. Qatar has ordered four examples, while Turkmenistan is believed to have two M-346FAs and four M-346FTs on order. Azerbaijan is also seeking to acquire 15 examples of the platform.