The Greek Government intends to upgrade 85 F-16 fighter jets to the advanced Viper standard.

Greece F-16 modernization deal Viper
Greece approves F-16 modernization deal.

The Greek Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defense approved an agreement with the United States to upgrade 85 F-16 combat aircraft to the advanced Viper configuration, as reported by Sputnik.

According to the Greek Defense Ministry, the deal will amount to about 1.1 billion euros ($1.3 billion), including 10-15 percent discount. The first modernized jet will be delivered to Greece in two years and the whole batch by 2028.

The Lockheed Martin F-16V is the latest and most advanced F-16 on the market today. The F-16V configuration includes several enhancements such as an Active Electronically Scanned Array (AESA) radar, a modern commercial off-the-shelf (COTS)-based avionics subsystem, a large-format, high-resolution display; and a high-volume, high-speed data bus. In addition, the operational capabilities are improved through a Link-16 Theater Data Link, Sniper Advanced Targeting Pod, advanced weapons, precision GPS navigation, and the Automatic Ground Collision Avoidance System (Auto GCAS). These advanced features will allow the F-16V to operate or face with the fifth-generation aircraft.

The upgrade will allow Greece to maintain its supremacy against current and future threats and align its air force with that of its historic adversary: ​​Turkey. The dispute between Greece and Turkey dates back several decades and was caused by disagreements due to the division of the waters of the Aegean and the airspace above. Recently tensions between the two nations worsened further when a Greek soldier fired warning shots at a Turkish helicopter approaching the border island of Ro and a Greek pilot was killed by the crash of a Mirage 2000-5 immediately after the interception of a Turkish F-16.

This tug of war continues in the strengthening of the respective air forces, when Turkey started looking at the modern F-35 stealth fighter jet, Greece has started negotiations to modernize its F-16 fleet.

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Written by Matteo Sanzani
Image: George Karavantos

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