Elbit Systems has been awarded a follow-on contract by the Israeli Air Force in a deal worth $20m.

Starting in 2012, Elbit will continue to operate and maintain the GROB G-120-AI Snunit training aircraft out of the Israeli flight academy in Hatzerim.

The original deal was the first private finance initiative project used by the IAF.

Under the programme, Israel buys training hours on the Elbit Systems GROB G-120-AI, which is looked after by a dedicated technical crew based in southern Israel.

Co-general manager of the Elbit Systems aerospace division Yoram Shmuely said the decision was a vindication of how well the scheme had worked so far.

“The IAF’s decision to renew the contract for the Snunit programme attests to the air force’s high level of satisfaction with the service, availability, usability and security achieved throughout the programme to date,” he said.