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Greece eyes acquisition of up to 30 F-35 to replace F-16

Greece is considering the potential acquisition of up to 30 Lockheed Martin F-35s to replace the oldest F-16C/Ds operated by the air force.

“Beyond the upgrade of the F-16 fighter jets, we are in the process of selecting a new plane for Greece, so we can gradually move to the new generation of aircraft,” said Greek defence minister Evangelos Apostolakis on 5 April.

The interest from Athens in a fifth-generation fighter chimes with comments from Vice Admiral Mathias Winter, director of the Pentagon’s F-35 joint programme office, who told Congress that sales of F-35 jets could be expanded to include five new countries – Greece, Romania, Poland, Singapore and Spain.

Citing local media, flightglobal suggests that Athens has already requested pricing and availability for 25-30 examples from Lockheed. However, any purchase will depend on Greece’s financial plans and the USA’s ability to offer a long-term payment framework.

Geoffrey Ross Pyatt, the US Ambassador to Greece, says that with Greece already upgrading some of its F-16s to the new V-model standard, it would be a “natural stepping stone” for the country to also acquire the conventional take-off and landing F-35A.

That modernisation programme will see 84 F-16C/Ds – currently in the Block 52+ configuration – raised to the new standard under a contract worth almost $1 billion.

The F-16V features a Northrop Grumman AN/APG-83 active electronically scanned array radar, a new Raytheon mission computer, Link 16 datalink, modern cockpit displays, an enhanced electronic warfare system, and a ground-collision avoidance system.

Upgrade work is expected to be completed by 30 June 2027.

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One comment

  1. we can’t afford ammunition or toilet paper for the army, but we got plenty of money for these useless airplanes!
    maybe we could get a discount on the one that fell into the pacific l;ast week, we can park it next to the siemens submarines.
    if only the ‘defense’ budget were actually used to help reinforce the defenses of the country! but as it is anybody could walk right on in and nothing would stop him! the past few decades of ‘leadership’ has managed to spend ten times more on useless military hardware while totally destroying the actual effectiveness of the armed forces.

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