Israel's defence ministry has sent a request for information to Alenia Aermacchi and Korea Aerospace Industries for a new fleet of advanced jet trainers.
The Israeli air force has already evaluated the companies' respective M-346 and T-50 designs as potential replacements for the Douglas A/TA-4 Skyhawks used at its flight academy.
The new request was issued after Israel's anti-trust commissioner confirmed that a proposed joint venture arrangement between the nation's two leading defence companies remains under evaluation.
Involving Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, the joint venture aims to purchase the selected aircraft and sell flight hours on the type to the air force. The companies also want to assemble parts of the chosen type in Israel and equip it with some locally made systems.
Read Peter Collins' flight test reports on the M-346 and T-50