Israel's defence ministry has awarded Elbit Systems a $10 million contract to support operations of its air force Beechcraft T-6A trainers for the next five years.

Also covering maintenance of the eventually 20-strong fleet, the deal includes an option for a follow-on period of another five years.

Dubbed the Efroni in Israeli service, the T-6 is replacing the air force's CM-170 Zukit (Fouga Magister) jets, which had supported its pilot training activities for the past several decades.

Elbit has supplied privatised maintenance services for some Israeli training aircraft and helicopters since 2002, and aims to secure additional such business.

"We hope that our experience and reputation achieved in projects tailored for the Israeli air force will leverage our position in similar projects worldwide," says Yoram Shmueli, co-general manager of the company's aerospace division.

Source: Flight International