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Elbit building Macedonian pilot center

HAIFA, Israel, May 11 (UPI) -- Elbit Systems of Israel is establishing a helicopter pilot training center for the Macedonian military under a $61.7 million contract, the company announced.

The project will be operated under a private financing initiative concept in which Elbit Systems will provide a comprehensive solution -- including the setting up of the training center, acquisition of aircraft, supply of full mission simulators and operation of the center for a period of eight years.

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The Pilot Training Center will prepare and qualify new pilots for the Macedonian Defense and Security forces, as well as provide training of active pilots.

"We are very proud to have been chosen for this project, which attests to the customer's trust in us, following many years of cooperation," said Yoram Shmuely, co-general manager of Elbit Systems' Aerospace Division. "Outsourcing in the areas of training, professional qualification and pilot training centers is growing worldwide and we hope that the significant experience and prestige that we have acquired in this area, both with the Israel Defense Forces and with other distinguished customers, will bring additional projects worldwide."

Additional details of the contract were not disclosed.

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