Greece to open new international military flight training school in Kalamata

The Italian-made Leonardo M-346 advanced trainer jet will probably become the backbone of the new Greek training center.

New flight training school Kalamata
Leonardo M-346. The Italian-made advanced trainer jet will probably become the backbone of the new international military flight training school in Kalamata, Greece.

Greece and Israel are close to reach an agreement to open a new international military pilot training school in Kalamata. The news comes after the visit of the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Jerusalem last June. 

This agreement would be revolutionary for the Hellenic Air Force, which has so far trained the students of the Icarus School with great difficulty because of obsolete systems and without being able to attract foreign candidates.

During his visit to Jerusalem, Mitsotakis met with the CEO of Elbit Systems, the Israeli company involved in the agreement, with whom he discussed the first details of the project.

The project has an estimated cost of approximately 1.4 billion euros in 20 years and involves an amount of 10,000 flight hours per year. In addition to Elbit, the Canadian company CAE is also very interested in the agreement, but Athens seems to be favoring Israel.

The relations between the Greek and Israeli air forces are very close and this benefits defense-related choices.

The Greek armed forces will take immediate advantage of the new school as training systems for both aircraft and helicopters will be updated, as well as simulators and the maintenance system. The type of the new trainer aircraft has not yet been announced, but the old T-2 Buckeye will most likely be replaced by the modern Leonardo M-346 advanced jet trainer. The M-346 made its Greek debut during Athens Flying Week 2018.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: Italian Air Force

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