The Israeli Ministry of Defense (MoD) and its Italian counterpart have signed a reciprocal procurement agreement for helicopters, missiles and simulators.

Under the agreement, the Israeli MoD will acquire a total of 12 AW119KX training helicopters from Leonardo.

Israel had ordered the first seven helicopters as part of a deal concluded by the two countries in February last year and has now placed an order for the remaining five units.

These aircraft will replace the Israel Air Force’s (IAF) Sayfan (Bell 206) helicopters.

The deal also includes the purchase of two simulators for the Israel Air Force Flight School.

In exchange, the Italian MoD will buy Rafael Advanced Systems developed Spike launchers and anti-tank missiles and helicopter simulators from Elbit Systems.

In 2011, the two governments signed an agreement, under which the Israeli MoD bought 30 training aircraft in exchange for one observation satellite and two airborne early warning systems.

Israel Defense Minister Benny Gantz: “I welcome the completion of this agreement, which reflects our close and important cooperation with the Italian Ministry of Defense over the years.

“The completion of this agreement is essential for the training of IAF helicopter pilots and for the development of Israel’s economy.

“It also reflects the great importance of defence industries both for Israel’s security and its economy.”

In January last year, the IAF received its seventh Super Hercules C-130J military transport aircraft at Nevatim airbase.