Greece officially applies to United States to buy F-35 stealth fighter

Greece buy F35
Greece officially applies to United States to buy F-35 stealth fighter.

After the recent acquisition of the French Rafale fighter aircraft, the Athens race to modernize the fleet of the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) continues with the request for F-35s from the United States. Recent rumors about Greece's interest in the fifth generation aircraft were made official with the Letter of Request (LOR) sent to Washington by the Greek Ministry of National Defence on November 6.

According to the LOR, Greece's decision to enter the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program will depend on several factors such as the delivery date of the fighters, the repayment schedule, the configuration of the aircraft and the possible combination to get a total of 18-24 jets (new or second-hand from USAF fleet, if available).

The letter, signed by the director general of armaments and investments, Theodoros Lagios, asks the United States for a quick response. Due to internal fiscal arrangements and other applicable rules within the EU budget and deficit framework, the letter says it is crucial that the first F-35s are delivered in 2021. While that deadline may seem very tight, Greece can take advantage of Washington's cancellation of the order with Turkey, obtaining the six aircraft that had already been produced for the Turkish Air Force.

The irony of fate would see the HAF use the fighter aircraft initially destined for Turkey against Turkey.

The acquisition of the F-35 together with that of the Rafale, in fact, aims to help Greece fill the gap that is being created with the Turkish enemies. The stealth aircraft can facilitate the HAF to fight against the S-400 anti-aircraft system that Ankara is procuring from Russia.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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