Greece launched Israeli-built flight school in Kalamata city of Peloponnese

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Greece launched Israeli-built flight school in Kalamata city of PeloponneseWhile the flight school officially opened Friday it will not be fully operational until early 2024

Associated Press reports from Kalamata that Greece on Friday launched operations at a new international pilot training center created in partnership with Israel, as it tries to build on its relative air power advantage over regional rival Turkey.

Israeli defense contractor Elbit, which finalized a $1.65 billion deal with Greece’s government, assisted by Israel, last year, will help run the facility located on an air force base outside the southern Greek city of Kalamata.

Greece is undertaking an armed forces modernization program largely focused on its air force, as it hopes to outpace Turkey. Athens is acquiring advanced French-built Rafale jets, upgrading its aging fleet of F-16 fighter jets, and wants to join the United States F-35 jet program.

Turkey was dropped from the F-35 program after its purchase of the Russian S-400 air defense system.

NATO members Greece and Turkey remain at odds over sea boundaries and the military presence on eastern Greek islands that Ankara maintains violates international treaties.

The new training center started operating Friday with 14 of an expected 25 T-6 single-engine turboprop aircraft. The fleet is set to expand next year with the delivery of 19 Italian-built M-346 training jets equipped with embedded virtual avionics that simulate combat and flight scenarios.

While the flight school officially opened Friday it will not be fully operational until early 2024, Elbit officials said.

Read more at thenationalherald.com

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: Pfloros

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