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Greece plans to purchase a total of 40 fighter jets, says Defense Minister

Greece plans to purchase a total of 40 fighter jets, including the 18 recently agreed Rafale from France, Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said late Tuesday.

Speaking at the prime time news program of Alpha TV Panagiotopoulos said that the Greek national defense upgrade plan “is very ambitious and extends into the future.”

“Sooner or later, a purchase of F-35s will be discussed,” he said, underlining that “at some point we will move to fifth-generation aircraft, and the main aircraft within NATO at such level is the F-35.”

Regarding the ongoing upgrading of Greek F-16s into Vipers, he said that “the most updated version of F-16s in the world,” adding that the first such Greek airplane would fly to the United States.

“In the next seven years, we will be developing between 8 to 12 F-16s into Vipers per year,” Panagiotopoulos revealed.

He added that “Turkey understands that Greece is being strengthened quickly and decisively. The acquisition of Rafale aircraft will change the balance of power in favor of the Greek side.”

The strategic arms the aircraft carry “the other side does not have,” he added, but expressed the hope that they will not have to be used.

Speaking of the possibility of acquiring French frigates Belharra French, he said the decision “will be made in the first half of this year.”

He clarified that French Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly did not bring a proposal for frigates during Monday’s visit to Greece, “but she assured us that this proposal is forthcoming.”

Proposals are also expected from Germany, Spain, the United States, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, he said.

“We want a package deal,” the minister underlined. 

“Besides the shipbuilding of the four ships – the new types of frigates – we want to guarantee that some of these will be built at Greek shipbuilding yards, with the involvement of local industry.” As the building will take an average of six to seven years, the winning bidders “will provide an intermediate solution, with two used ships in a good state, possibly upgraded.”

“We are waiting for specific proposals,” Defense Minister Panagiotopoulos said.

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  1. MORE flighter jets? The Greek state spends no money to maintain or fix streets, pensions are so low, that ELDERLY PEOPLE SEARCH in garbage for food, no social housing, ..
    BUT more BILLIONS spent for fighter jets?

    • I think Macron purposely enhanced tensions between Greece and Turkey this last year for his own purposes (such as having France profit from any future gas finds in the sea). Previously the thought of war or conflict with Turkey was inconceivable because a weak state like Greece would never snap at big powerful Turkey.

      Macron has inflated Greece’s confidence with their own political interference, and by providing Greece with weapons. So all of a sudden, war and/or conflict become possible and maybe even inevitable.

      • Jeannine said ‘a weak state like Greece’.

        Greece is small and debt-ridden but it has never been weak militarily. The Greek air force is the most highly skilled in NATO. The Greek air force and navy far outclass the Turkish air force and navy. Yes, the Turkish army is the biggest in NATO outside the USA and very good fighters but due to the tricky conditions on the Greek-Turkish land border it is very difficult for the Turkish army to lead the way in an invasion. The real battles will be naval and air.

  2. Don’t buy anything from the Germans .