First you develop the technology, then you sell it and later, you offer services based on that technology. That is exactly what Elbit Systems is doing,
In one of many such initiatives, the Israeli company has purchased basic trainers and is selling flying time to the Israeli air force flying school.
A few days ago, the first course of Macedonian pilots graduated from the country’s Pilot Training Center in a ceremony at Alexander the Great airport in Skopje. After 18 months of training, the graduates are qualified helicopter pilots ready to serve the Macedonian Defense and Security Forces’ Mil Mi-17 and Mil Mi-24 squadrons. The graduation followed the official opening of the new PTC.
The PTC was established by a partnership between Elbit Systems and the Macedonian government spanning 2011-2012, based on the company’s vast experience in aviation and fleet operation, and covers basic to advanced training in virtual and real environments.
The project includes setting up the training center, acquiring and operating Zlin Z 242L and Bell 206B3 aircraft, Mil Mi-8, Mi-17 and Mi-24 full mission and full motion simulators with advanced operational visual scenarios, as well as operating the centre for eight years. Elbit Systems manages and operates the entire training process, from screening the cadets, to basic and advanced training, up to training the flight instructors, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Elbit Systems of Macedonia.
The Macedonian government and Elbit Systems will open the PTC facility to worldwide customers for pilot and simulator-based training, as well as dedicated helicopter operational skills.
The project is being operated under a private financing initiative – a model that is becoming more popular and for good reason. In most cases, the client does not have the money to purchase the equipment and services, while in others, it is simply more convenient and cost effective.