Elbit Systems will build a new mission training centre (MTC) for the Colombian air force during 2014, with its contract valued at $18.5 million.

According to the Israeli company, the facility is designed to improve the operational readiness of fighter pilots by training in various mission scenarios, in varying war zones and using relevant threat environments. The high quality of instruction to be provided using the MTC will enable the customer to perform some of its training sorties using synthetic training devices instead of combat aircraft, allowing for the optimal use of existing resources, it adds.

Elbit refused to confirm the identity of its customer for the MTC deal, saying only that its contract has been placed on behalf of a "Latin American air force", but sources confirm it is Colombia.

 Colombian air force Kfir fighter

Israel Aerospace Industries

The Colombian air force operates types including ex-Israeli air force Kfir fighters

Its new contract is built on the experience gained from building a major MTC for the Israeli air force, which supports the instruction of pilots for the service's Lockheed Martin F-16s and Boeing F-15s.

Colombia's future MTC will enable joint training between students, both within the air force and at an interoperable level, including its integration with other training systems, even those housed at geographically distant locations.

The Colombian air force's combat aircraft inventory includes ex-Israeli air force Kfir fighters supplied by Israel Aerospace Industries, plus Cessna A-37, Embraer EMB-314 Super Tucano and Rockwell OV-10 strike aircraft, says Flightglobal's MiliCAS database.

Source: Flight International