(ISRAEL/GREECE) JUST IN: Sign their biggest ever defence procurement deal, which Israel said would strengthen political and economic ties between the countries as the two countries’ air forces launched a joint exercise #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Apr.23: With Turkey and Iran looming large in the region (and expanding their influence), a paramount deal has been struck between Israel and Greece. The two countries “have signed their biggest ever defence procurement deal, which Israel said would strengthen political and economic ties between the countries.”

Israel and Greece sign record defense deal amid threats from Turkey and Iran: ‘Greece and Turkey have been embroiled in ongoing disputes. Tensions — from gas exploration to territorial battles and migrant disputes — brought the countries to the brink of “open conflict” last year. At the core is Turkey’s policy of Islamic expansionism and its Islamic supremacist bulling’

As part of the new Israel-Greece agreement, which strengthens Greece in the face of Turkish aggression, the Greek Defense Ministry and Elbit Systems will lead to “the establishment and operation of a training centre for the Hellenic Air Force.”

The first military deal between the Israel and Greece was concluded last year, when Israel leased drones to Greece to help it defend its borders.

“Israel and Greece sign record defence deal,” Al Jazeera, April 18, 2021:

The agreement includes a $1.65bn contract for the establishment and operation of a training centre for the Hellenic Air Force by Israeli defence contractor Elbit Systems over a 22-year period, Israel’s defence ministry said on Sunday.

The training centre will be modelled on Israel’s own flight academy and will be equipped with 10 M-346 training aircraft produced by Italy’s Leonardo, the ministry said.

Elbit will supply kits to upgrade and operate Greece’s T-6 aircraft and also provide training, simulators and logistical support.

“I am certain that (this programme) will upgrade the capabilities and strengthen the economies of Israel and Greece and thus the partnership between our two countries will deepen on the defence, economic and political levels,” said Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz.

The announcement follows a meeting in Cyprus on Friday between the United Arab Emirates, Greek, Cypriot and Israeli foreign ministers, who agreed to deepen cooperation.

The Israeli and Greek air forces on Sunday launched a joint exercise in Greece, the Israeli military said.

In at least one past exercise over Greece, Israeli fighter planes practised against an S-300 posted on Crete. The Russian-made air defence system is also deployed in Syria and Iran, Israel’s foes.

A source in the Hellenic National Defence Command said the S-300 had not been activated in the joint exercise that began on Sunday.

Israel, Greece and Cyprus have taken several steps in recent months to cement ties, including advancing plans to build a 2,000-megawatt undersea electricity cable and a 1,900km (1,300-mile) undersea gas pipeline, a move that irked regional rival Turkey.

Last month, the Israeli military said it conducted a joint naval exercise with Greece and Cyprus…..

#AceNewsDesk report ………Published: Apr.23: 2021:

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