The AgustaWestland AW119 Koala, produced by Leonardo since 2016, is an eight-seat utility helicopter powered by a single turboshaft engine produced for the civil market..
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
The Israeli Defense Ministry signed an agreement to procure seven advanced military training helicopters from the Italian government on Thursday, according to the spokesperson for the Israeli ministry.
Director General of the Israeli Ministry of Defense, Maj. Gen. (res.) Udi Adam, and the Director General of the Italian Defense Ministry Nicolo Plesperna signed the agreement as a continuation of a 2011 defense deal constructed by the two governments in which the Israeli side acquired thirty military training airplanes in exchange for the Italian purchase of an Israeli observation satellite and two surveillance aircraft.
The new training helicopters acquired by Israel will gradually replace the Saifun helicopters currently in use by the Israeli Air Force with the Italian AgustaWestland AW119Kx Koala. The helicopter was manufactured by Leonardo in Italy - the same manufacturer that created the IAF's training aircraft, Halabi, in the previous deal brokered between the two countries. The Italian training helicopter currently serves dozens of police and security organizations around the world.
In return for the Israeli purchase, the Italians have committed to acquiring defense and security materials from the Israeli government "within a similar scope."
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