NEWS

Greece to open new air force training academy in Kalamata

VASSILIS NEDOS

TAGS: Defense, Diplomacy

Greece is close to reaching a deal for a new training center for Hellenic Air Force pilots that will be based in the southern Peloponnesian city of Kalamata.

The new facility is expected to cost around 1.4 billion euros over 20 years and to significantly bolster the pilot training capabilities of the Greek military, which is eager for an upgrade that will also help it attract more candidates to its Icarus Air Force Academy.

Greece is in talks with aviation electronics firms in Canada and Israel for the new academy, though reportedly closer to a deal with Haifa-based ELBIT, especially following Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ visit to Jerusalem last week, where he met with the company’s chief executive.

According to the broad strokes of the deal, the company would be responsible for creating a flight training center in Kalamata that would be used by the Hellenic Air Force, but also leased to air forces in the broader region. It would also be responsible for providing upgrades to bolster the Greek force’s helicopter training program.

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