A request for information concerning the purchase of a new advanced trainer by the Israeli air force will be sent before the end of the month to the two competing companies: Alenia Aermacchi and Korea Aerospace Industries.

The RFI was recently issued to a concern involving Elbit Systems and Israel Aerospace Industries, which plan to purchase the selected aircraft and sell flight hours to the air force. The joint venture will next release the request to the bidding manufacturers.

Elbit and IAI want to assemble the selected type in Israel and equip it with some locally made systems. They have made an in-principle agreement on the proposed joint venture, which must be reviewed by Israel's anti-trust commissioner before it can be finalised.

Israel has evaluated the Alenia Aermacchi M-346 and KAI-T-50 as potential replacements for the Douglas A-4 Skyhawks still used at its air force flight academy. A KAI delegation visited Israel early this month and met industry and military officials.

Source: Flight International