Greece plans to buy additional Rafale fighters

Greece buy additional Rafale
Dassault Rafale multirole combat aircraft.

The Greek government is considering signing a new agreement with Paris for additional Dassault Rafale multi-role combat aircraft, Protothema said in recent days. The Greek media reported that government officials in charge of the new defense acquisitions would like to supplement the previous purchase order for 18 Rafales with an additional six jets. According to them, 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 newly built 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 can carry. 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. In the summer of 2020, in the midst of the crisis caused by Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan with the deployment of the seismic research vessel Oruc Reis in the eastern Mediterranean, Greece turned to France for the supply of 18 Rafales to strengthen the Greek Air Force.

Rising tensions have led Athens to ask France for very quick deliveries with the first six aircraft expected to arrive in Greece in July 2021. The first four officers of the Greek Air Force are already receiving training to become Rafale pilot instructors at the Mont de Marsan Air Base, France. They will then train the next Greek Rafale fighter pilots.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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