Inicio NOTICIAS Italy wins bid to provide IAF with combat trainer jets

Italy wins bid to provide IAF with combat trainer jets

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The Defense Ministry announced on Thursday that it has selected Italy’s Alenia Aermacchi M-346 Master as the next advanced combat trainer for the Israel Air Force.
The decision is expected to lead to a crisis with South Korea which had pushed hard to win the $1 billion deal. Seoul has claimed that Israel had preferred Italy throughout the competition and that the tender was not conducted according to “international standards.”
On Thursday, Defense Ministry Dir.-Gen. Udi Shani convened a meeting of the IAF and the MOD’s senior staff to rule on the tender.
According to the decision, the IAF will receive 30 M346s starting in 2014 which will be used to replace its legendary fleet of Skyhawks which have been used until now to serve as the advanced trainer for pilots designated for fighter jets.
In return, Italy will commit to purchase just over $1 billion of military platforms from Israeli defense companies, including satellites and airborne warning and control system (AWACS) aircraft.
Tension between Seoul and Jerusalem peaked earlier this week in meetings Defense Minister Ehud Barak and Shani held with Korean officials on the sidelines of the Singapore Air Show. Korea has expressed interest in purchasing new refueling tankers from Israel Aerospace Industries as well as the Iron Dome counter rocket defense system from Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Those deals are now believed to be in jeopardy.

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