The “nest” of tomorrow’s guards of the Aegean is “taking off”: With fast track procedures, the works at the 120th Air Training Wing in Kalamata

The intergovernmental agreement signed between the Ministry of National Defense and the Israeli Ministry of Defense and implemented by the Elbit company exceeds expectations as it is ahead of schedule.
of Kostas Sarikas
The messages arriving from Kalamata regarding the progress of work at the 120 Air Training Wing where the International Pilot Training Center is being “set up” can only be described as optimistic. Where for decades the new Icarians of our Air Force turn into tomorrow’s “hawks” who staff the Military Squadrons and turn into the guardians of the Aegean faithful to the aviation tradition of the HAF. The intergovernmental agreement signed between the Ministry of National Defense and the Israeli Ministry of Defense and implemented by the Elbit company exceeds expectations as it is ahead of schedule.
Already the training pilots of our Air Force have at their disposal a large number of T-6 training aircraft, more than 12 according to information, while the Israeli company continuously delivers aircraft trainers to the Greeks. Within a year the availability of training aircraft with which the new Icarians make their first flights has soared. The maintenance of aircraft decommissioned for years is proceeding with very rapid procedures and now the training flight work is carried out at a rapid pace. While the very low availability situation until last year was dramatically delaying the completion of T-6 flights before new pilots transitioned to jet trainers. With consequences for the subsequent staffing of the Fighter Squadrons and the delays until the new pilots finally reach the fighters reaching even four years.
But the biggest project of the agreement concerns the replacement of the aging T-2s by the state-of-the-art M-346s, a process which had a dramatic delay of several years. According to the plan, the “old wolves” in which generations and generations of pilots were introduced to jet aircraft will be gradually replaced starting in mid-2023 when the first of a total of ten Italian-made M-346s will arrive in Kalamata. State-of-the-art aircraft that support the HAF’s transition to the 4.5 generation Rafale and Viper fighters as well as the 5th generation F-35 Stealth. In the M-346 training jets, which can also carry weapons, the Italian manufacturers have incorporated all the latest technology to give the new Icarus all the supplies and prepare them for the transition to modern fighters. Designed to take on any type of mission and bring training to realistic operational dimensions. While simulators on the ground will have similar capabilities. Training aircraft that the Israeli Air Force already uses with complete success.
In Kalamata, the construction of the first building of the training center has already been completed, the new Logistics-supply center is in operation, while the work of the interconnected flight simulators and the Ground Training Stations at the base is progressing.
The progress of the works is expected to be inspected next Friday by the Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos with the Israeli Minister of Defense and Deputy Prime Minister of Israel Benny Gantz in the presence of the Military leadership and executives of the sponsoring company Elbit.
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