Greece receives first Rafale fighters from France

Greece receives first Rafales France
First HAF Rafales arrive in Greece.

Greece received its first batch of six Rafale multi-role combat aircraft on Wednesday. Pilots of the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) flew the fighters from the Dassault Aviation site in Istres, France, to the Tanagra Air Base, Greece, where they were greeted in a ceremony by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, along with Minister of National Defense Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos and high Greek authorities. The event was also attended by Éric Trappier, President and CEO of Dassault Aviation.

The entry into operational service of these first six Rafale aircraft in the HAF 332 Squadron confirms the excellent relationship between France and Greece, and occurs only one year after the signature of the contract for 18 aircraft.

According to Dassault, this milestone was also possible thanks to the excellent training provided to HAF pilots, mechanics and technicians at the company's Conversion Training Center (CTC) in Mérignac, France. The training of personnel will continue in the coming months in France and Greece.

The next batch of Rafale will be delivered to HAF at the end of 2022 with the aim of having the entire fleet (24 aircraft) deployed at the Tanagra Air Base by the summer of 2023.

Greece receives first Rafales France

"The mastery with which the Hellenic Air Force carried out this first ferry flight is a testimony to the excellence of our cooperation and the strength of our historical relationship with Greece for more than 45 years. Thanks to our mobilization, we were able to meet the expectations of the Greek authorities in record time, who now have the Rafale on national territory to reinforce the protection and sovereignty of the country. It also attests to the outstanding quality of our aircraft, confirmed by its export success. Lastly, it reflects our total commitment to meeting the needs of the HAF and to participating in Greece’s strategic ambitions," Éric Trappier said.

Written by Matteo Sanzani
Source, Images: Dassault Aviation

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