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 deal with Paris to acquire additional Dassault Rafale multi-role combat aircraft. According to a local source, government officials responsible for new defense acquisitions are considering ordering another six jets to add to the 18 already acquired. They believe that a good fighter squadron should include no fewer than 24 fighters.

Based on the price agreed for the 12 second-hand Rafales + 6 new Rafales, the value of the new order should be around 800 million euros. Although the previous purchase agreement does not include an option for additional aircraft, the new transaction is not expected to be delayed as the contents will remain the same. The additional six aircraft are expected to be new builds 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 and the ability to use the same weapons as the Greek Mirage 2000-5 fighters. The Rafale will also be equipped with the next-generation beyond-visual-range guided Meteor air-to-air missile. The aircraft will offer the nation a new deterrent force to support the territorial fight against Turkey.

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

Growing tensions with Ankara have led Athens to ask France to deliver the Rafales quickly with the first aircraft to be taken over by Greece in July 2021. The first four officers of the Greek Air Force are already receiving training to become Rafale instructor pilots at Mont de Marsan Air Base, France. Then they will train the next Greek Rafale pilots.

Written by Matteo Sanzani

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