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Greece will buy 18 Rafale fighter jets and four French frigates

Greece has officially announced through the voice of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis an important arms purchase from France.

The information that the Hellenic Air Force will operate Rafale in near future was already circulating in the Greek press since the begining of September.

The Greek Prime Minister officially confirmed the information on September 12, 2020.

Thus, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that Greece will purchase from France, 18 Dassault Rafale multi-role fighter jets, four frigates and four naval helicopter.

Greece also plans to recruit an additional 15,000 troops and continue to fund its defense industry.

Picture Author: Tim Felce (Airwolfhound) / Wikimedia Source: [link] / Main Source: [link]

Of the total of 18 Rafale fighters that Greece will purchase, 12 will be second-hand from the French Air Force inventory, and the remaining six will be newly-built.

All the 18 multirole combat aircrafts acquired by Greece will be the Rafale F3R standard equipped with the RBE2 AESA radar, the DDM-NG infrared missile warning system, the OSF-IT optoelectronic system, and new cockpit-mounted display systems.

The 18 Rafale fighter jets and the additional equipment will cost the Greek state €2 billion, of which €1.7 billion is the price of the jets, and the remaining €300 million will be paid for weapons.

It is speculated that the Greek Air Force will also receive the state-of-the-art long-range Meteor air-to-air missile produced by the European consortium MBDA.

The contract for the 18 Rafales would be signed in November and the first Rafale jet will arrive in Greece in mid-2021.

Rafale, developed by the French company Dassault is one of the most advanced fighter aircrafts in the world.

The Greek Air Force will become the second operator of Dassault Rafale in NATO and the European Union.

If the announcement of the purchase of Rafale combat aircrafts came as a surprise, the fact that Greece will also buy four French frigates is not a new thing.

Greece has been planning the acquisition of new surface combatants for some time, and in October 2019 there were reports that Greece will acquire two Belharra-class frigates (Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention - FDI).

Now it seems that the Greek Naval Forces want four frigates, but this time it was not specified what model of ship it would be.

Greece will probably chose between the new Belharra-class and the FREMM frigates, which in the French Navy are designated as Aquitaine class.

The French FREMM frigates have a displacement of 6,000 tons and a length of 142 meters.

The new Belharra-class is smaller in size, with a displacement of 4,460 tons and a length of 122 m.

The announcement of Greece's new military acquisitions was made in the context of recent tensions in the Eastern Mediterranean between Greece and Turkey.

Despite all its economic problems, Greece is a military force in Europe.

Forced to keep pace with Turkey to keep a certain balance in terms of military equipment, Athens has built over the years a very well equipped military force both in terms of quantity and quality.

The Greek Air Force currently has a total of 232 fighter jets including:
- 153 F-16 Fighting Falcon multirole aircrafts
- 44 Mirage 2000 multirole aircrafts
- 35 F-4E Phantom II fighter jets

On the other hand, the Turkish Air Force has 293 fighter jets:
- 245 F-16C/D Fighting Falcon multirole aircrafts
- 48 F-4 Terminator 2020 fighter jets

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Posted by: Andrei Dcs on 2020-10-07 14:41:46
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