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Author Topic: Iceland could become ‘Top Gun’ training base  (Read 2857 times)
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« on: August 31, 2010, 06:17:47 pm »

Iceland could become ‘Top Gun’ training base

A private company proposes establishing a military ‘aggressor’ type training facility in Iceland.

Gary Parsons - 31-Aug-2010

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August 31: The Financial Times reports that the Icelandic government is considering renting out part of Keflavik Air Base to a private company that proposes establishing a military ‘aggressor’ type training facility for western air forces.

The company, ECA Program, was created in 2007 by two Dutch businessmen with the “goal of developing the world’s first contractor provided Integrated Training support for military services”. It has agreed terms with the Belarusian military export authority Beltechexport to buy 30 Sukhoi Su-27 Flanker fighters in a deal worth approximately €1.2 billion including ground-based radar systems, command & control units and surface-to-air missile defence units. First deliveries will take place in September and will be completed before the end of 2012, claims ECA. Pilot and operator training is planned to start to enable first operations towards the end of the year.

The source of the Flankers is unclear as the Belarusian Air Force & Air Defence Corps is unlikely to want to sell its small force of 18 Su-27P aircraft. ECA says the aircraft are of Russian build and will be refurbished by Beltechexport and has been recruiting pilots through an advertisement in Flight International magazine, detailing “deployments in the EU and Middle East”. ECA says that no training would be done in Icelandic airspace and three international Forward Operating Locations (FOL) would be used along with two main operating bases, Keflavik being one.


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