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Israel inks $80 million deal to expand training center for fighter pilots

The agreement with Elbit Systems will expand the Mission Training Center at the Hatzor Air Force Base, which contains flight training simulators for F-15 and F-16 jets.

Israeli Air Force fighter jets. Credit: Israeli Defense Ministry Spokesperson’s Office.
Israeli Air Force fighter jets. Credit: Israeli Defense Ministry Spokesperson’s Office.

The Israeli Defense Ministry inked an agreement with Elbit Systems on Tuesday to expand the Mission Training Center at the Hatzor Air Force Base, which contains flight training simulators for F-15 and F-16 fighter jets.

The deal will expand the center, double the amount of flight training hours, effectively reduce in-air flight costs and allow for joint ground and air force drills in the future.

The agreement is estimated at $80 million and will be paid for with U.S. military aid, which stands at over $3 billion annually.

“The IAF continues to develop and strengthen its competence in the face of future challenges. As part of this effort, the fighter aircraft array’s Mission Training Center will be expanded. This will be done in order to strengthen the competence of the aircrew and the IAF as a whole, while also generating economic efficiency,” said IAF Chief of Air Staff, Brig. Gen. Eyal Grinboim.

According to the Defense Ministry, the flight training center is essential in ensuring pilots’ operational capabilities and provides advanced training and flight-simulating experience by incorporating cutting-edge display systems. These systems allow a wide range of flight simulations, including basic familiarization with the aircraft, emergency situations, preparation for operational scenarios and missions.

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