Greece buys F-35 for air superiority over Turkey
ATHENS, (BM) – Greece will mainly modernize its military aviation by purchasing 24 F-35 fighter jets from the United States, learned BulgarianMiitary.com, quoting BTA.
Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said in an interview with Sky TV that Greece will also modernize its existing F-35 and Mirage fighter jets.
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According to Panagiotopoulos, the squadron of 24 F-35 aircraft along with the infrastructure, will cost more than € 3 billion, with clear financing and disbursement options after the talks are over.
Greek Prime Minister Kiriakos Mitsotakis announced talks about such a purchase during a visit to the United States earlier this week.
Greece’s interest in the aircraft is considered by analysts to be particularly important after Turkey dropped out of the program following the acquisition of Russia’s S-400 anti-aircraft missile systems.
The Greek Defense Minister has confirmed that the country is likely to acquire the F-35 after 2024. Meanwhile, the program of upgrading the Greek F-16 to the Viper variant is starting these days, with the pace expected to take 7-8 years, because Greece cannot take down all combat aircraft at the same time, BTA reported.
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Panagiotopoulos said the modernization of the F-16 was the way in which the Greek air force would make the transition to fifth-generation fighter jets by achieving intermediate capabilities between fourth and fifth.
Panagiotopoulos said that after the modernization, Greece will have 82-84 modern F-16 fighter jets and will begin negotiations for participation in the F-35 program, from which Turkey will be dropped.
In the meantime, the modernization of the Mirage fighter jets will be completed, with which Greece will now be able to speak of regaining its air superiority over Turkey.
On the possibility of buying warships and other weapons, the minister said there were proposals to be discussed between the Pentagon and the Greek government.
Panagiotopoulos said there were two ways to acquire military equipment – either directly or through surplus US weapons.
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