Greece uses Israel to rehabilitate its air forces for a high price after its relations with Turkey soured

Greece signed an agreement with the Israeli company “Elbit” on Tuesday, to train Greek Air Force pilots at the International Flight Training Center in Kalamata, for a period of 22 years, for 62.5 million euros annually.

In a tender for a project to establish an international flight training center at the Kalamata air base, the Israeli company Elbit won over the Canadian CIA.

The offer was evaluated on the Israeli side by the Ministry of National Defense and the Greek government as a whole as being more beneficial compared to the Canadian CAE offer, both in terms of the financial component and in terms of training.

The cost of the Israeli offer is 1.375 billion euros for a period of 22 years, meaning that it will cost the state budget 62.5 million euros annually. 

While the Canadian bid was valued at 1.254 billion euros over 20 years.

A strong argument of the Israelis is a good cooperation relationship with Greece, the joint training of Greek Air Force pilots in joint maneuvers with the Israeli Air Force and an understanding of Turkey’s destabilizing role in the eastern Mediterranean.

On December 10, the European Union imposed sanctions on Ankara for what it described as its “illegal and hostile behavior” towards Greece and Cyprus.

Last Friday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told German Chancellor Angela Merkel that he wanted to open a “new page” with the European Union.