Amid growing threats, Israel Air Force expands flight simulator center for pilots

Simulators are used by pilots to train in terrain that they have not flown in before and can be used to simulate attack scenarios like against Iran.

 Israel Air Force flight trianing. (photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)
Israel Air Force flight trianing.
(photo credit: DEFENSE MINISTRY)

The Defense Ministry signed an agreement on Tuesday with Elbit Systems to expand the Mission Training Center (MTC) at the "Hatzor" Air Force Base in the South containing flight training simulators for F-15 and F-16 aircrafts.

"The new training center, which will serve as infrastructure for future training platforms, will allow double the amount of flight training hours while reducing in-air flight costs," said a joint statement from the ministry and Elbit. "The center will also enable joint Ground and Air Force training in the future."

The deal's value is estimated at NIS 400 million plus about $80 million in aid funds. and will jump the number of simulators to 10. The simulators are used by pilots to train in terrain that they have not flown in before and can even be used to simulate attack scenarios like against Iran or other adversaries of Israel.

The contract will be delivered over a three-year period with an additional fifteen year period that will include operation and maintenance services.

The center is essential in ensuring operational capabilities

According to the statement, "the flight training center is essential in ensuring the fighter 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, and more."

Logo of Israeli defence electronics firm Elbit Systems is seen at their offices in Haifa (credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)Logo of Israeli defence electronics firm Elbit Systems is seen at their offices in Haifa (credit: BAZ RATNER/REUTERS)

"This center will significantly upgrade the scope of the Air Force's training capabilities while potentially absorbing future additional training platforms," said Defense Ministry Deputy Director-General and Head of the Directorate of Production and Procurement Avi Dadon. "In addition, the flight training center will yield multi-year savings amounting to hundreds of millions of shekels."

IAF Chief of Air Staff, Brig. Gen. Eyal Grinboim stated that “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.”

"Armed forces around the world are reshaping their training capabilities while striving to improve combat readiness and efficiency."

General Manager of Elbit Systems Aerospace Yoram Shmuely

“Elbit Systems appreciates the strong partnership and the confidence of the IMoD and the IDF," said General Manager of Elbit Systems Aerospace Yoram Shmuely. "Armed forces around the world are reshaping their training capabilities while striving to improve combat readiness and efficiency."