Greece plans to buy additional Rafale fighters

Greece buy additional Rafale
Dassault Rafale multirole combat aircraft.

The Greek government appears to be close to signing a new agreement with Paris to purchase additional Dassault Rafale multi-role fighter aircraft, according to a local source. The source told us that government officials in charge of the new defense acquisitions would like to enhance the previous purchase order for 18 Rafales with six more jets. They believe that a good combat squadron should include no fewer than 24 fighters.

Based on the agreed price for the 12 used + 6 new Rafales, the new order should cost the State around 800 million euros. Although the previous purchase agreement does not include an option for additional aircraft, the procedures for completing the deal should not be delayed as the contents will be the same. The additional six are expected to be new jets in the F3-R standard.

The Rafale is considered a "game changer" for the Greek Air Force, mainly due to the type of weapons it is capable of carrying. In addition to the ability to use the same weapons as the Greek Mirage 2000-5 fighters, the Rafale will be equipped with the next generation Meteor radar guided beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile. The aircraft will offer the nation a new deterrent force in support of the territorial struggle against Turkey.

Relations between the two nations tightened considerably last summer following Turkey's deployment of the research ship Oruc Reis, along with warships, near the Greek island of Kastellorizo to search for natural gas.

Rising tensions with Ankara have led Athens to ask France for very quick deliveries with the first aircraft that will be handed over to Greece in July 2021. The first four Greek Air Force officers are already receiving training to become Rafale instructor pilots at the Mont de Marsan Air Base, France. They will then train the next Greek Rafale pilots.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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