Under the directive of Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in Rome, senior defense officials signed a G2G agreement and an acquisition deal for 30 advanced combat training jets.
Defense Ministry Director-General Maj.-Gen. (Res.) Udi Shani signed this important deal for the acquisition of the next advanced combat training jets of the Israeli Air force (IAF). The deal also includes an offset agreement that will yield billions of NIS to the Israeli defense industries.
The deal (acquisition and offset agreement together) is worth approximately 10 billion NIS.
A significant part of this sum will be reinvested into the Israeli defense industries, thus supporting the further development of advanced technology. Such investment will also generate thousands of Israeli jobs.
Defense Ministry Director-General Shani noted that, “This huge deal with the Italian government will enable us to replace the Skyhawk jets which have served the training apparatus of the IAF for 40 years. In addition, in such times of budgetary constraint, the deal will inject revamped vigor into the Israeli defense industries. The Italian purchasing commitments will yield thousands of new job opportunities for Israel’s defense industries.”
The core of the deal includes the acquisition of the next combat training jet of the IAF, complemented by an offset agreement from the Israeli defense industries to the Italian government.
The following Defense Ministry officials signed the deal: Director-General Shani; the Director for Procurement and Production, Shmuel Tsuker; the Director of Defense Research and Development, Ofir Shoam; and Tzachi Malach, the Director of Budgeting and Accounting. They were accompanied by the CEOs of IAI and Elbit.
The Italian officials that signed the deal were Defense Ministry Director-General Lt.-Gen. Lt.-Gen. Claudio Debertolis, and CEO of Alenia Aermacchi, Giuseppe Giordo.
Defense Ministry Director-General Shani said during the ceremony: “The offset deal signed today characterizes the close and successful cooperation between the Israeli and Italian Ministries of Defense. It is not just about a ‘buy-and-sell’ deal, but rather it reflects a mutual understanding of each other’s needs and challenges.
The regional developments are not to be underestimated. The security challenges that face the two countries only highlight the need to strengthen our capabilities, to invest in research and development, and to bolster the Israeli defense industries. Israel and Italy both need to take courageous decisions in what is a complex economic reality of defense budget cuts.
It is up to us to do our best to anticipate the future and be ready with creative solutions for the long term to face the threats that may rise along the way.”
The CEO of Alenia Aermacchi noted, “The signing of the agreement to supply 30 planes to Israel, including advanced training systems, is the result of the technological quality of the Italian industry and of the close cooperation between the two countries. It is a wonderful achievement for our two countries. The Alenia Aemarcchi employees, as well as our small and middle-size contractors that took part in the program must be proud of being part of this extraordinary achievement.”
Defense Minister Ehud Barak praised the senior officials of the Ministry of Defense and the IDF: “Today is an important day for the IDF, the Air Force and the Israeli defense industries. I would like to congratulate the senior officials of the Defense Ministry who have brought this complicated project to fulfillment. There is no doubt that the events of the last 24 hours compel us once again to recognize the importance of further strengthening our security needs. The new combat training jets will help us to train the future generation of pilots, while the boost for the Israeli defense industries will contribute to further research and development in the security arena.”
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)