Elbit Systems has landed Greece’s first two M-346 training aircraft at the country’s recently-constructed Hellenic International Flight Training Center in Kalamata.
The handover is part of a Hellenic Air Force’s program to train and familiarize pilots with the service’s modern fighter jets.
The delivery also supports the Greek and Israeli defense ministries’ efforts to enhance strategic aerospace cooperation.
Built by Leonardo, the M-346 tandem-seat aircraft is equipped with digital flight controls, heads-up displays, and a fly-by-wire control system.
Greece’s recently-delivered M-346s are integrated with Elbit’s virtual avionics that simulates realistic aerial combat scenarios.
The aircraft’s onboard simulation technology is operated with a ground-based training system to optimize fleet training management.
— Hellenic Air Force (@HAFspokesperson) May 11, 2023
“We are proud to provide the Hellenic Airforce with leading training centers and capabilities,” Elbit Systems Aerospace General Manager Yoram Shmuely stated.
“The landing of the first two planes at the International Training Center in Kalamata is a significant milestone for not only Elbit Systems, but for the growing strategic relationship between Israel and Greece.”
Long-Term Training for Greek Airmen
The new M-346s are part of an agreement seeking 10 M-346 units for the Hellenic Air Force.
The contract signing was followed by the launch of the Kalamata-based training center in 2022.
The upcoming fleet is expected to “bring the training experience of the pilots to the highest level” and achieve thousands of flight hours annually.
“Our ambition is that the International Flight Training Center will provide basic, advanced and operational flight training to all airmen and over a period of 22 years using T-6 and M-346 aircraft,” Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos explained.
“The most important thing is that this will bring revenue to the Greek Air Force and international prestige to the training center since the International Flight Training Center is indeed the biggest agreement and the most strategic project in the field of defense cooperation between Greece and Israel to date.”