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Greece is preparing to acquire a squadron of 24 F-35 fighter jets

ATHENS, (BM) – If Greece wants its Armed Forces to be combative, competitive and able to face the constant threat from the East, then they should proceed to the necessary reinforcement with new weapons systems and modernization of the old ones, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Greek news agency Pentapostagma.

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Somewhere here, of course, Athens also wants an F-35 fighter jet. This is a news that Greek website Pentapostagma first reported a few days ago:

“A large American website reveals that Greece is “preparing”, among other things, for the acquisition of a squadron of 24 5th generation F-35A fighter jets, most likely from 2024″ the article said.

“Thus, the “gap” of Greece with other countries will be closed definitively and irrevocably, giving the state’s Air Force an indisputable quality superiority, after the inaction due to the economic crisis in the previous years, putting the country in the era of state-of-the-art aircraft” the article’s author continues.

The new Management structure

This is the “new structure of command and forces of the Armed Forces 2020-2034” about which the Minister of National Defense Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos and the head of GEETHA General Konstantinos Floros informed in detail and extensively yesterday. For two hours and 15 minutes, the political and military leadership of the Ministry of Defense informed the members of the Standing Committee on National Defense and Foreign Affairs of the Parliament, in a special meeting held behind closed doors in the “Ioannis Kapodistrias” room about all the interventions that must be made in the Greek Armed Forces from now until 2034.

The study carried out by GEETHA is so detailed that, according to information, data were presented on the amounts to be spent per year until 2034. It goes without saying that all this requires an increase in defense spending in the annual budget.

The new equipment

The list of weapons systems that the Greek Defence will have to procure from now on includes those announced a few days ago by the Prime Minister from Thessaloniki. The new weapons but also those that need upgrading, which were reported extensively, were among others:

  • New sea frigates. The Navy needs a total of 6 [both with area air defense capabilities]. In Thessaloniki, Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced that the procedures for the purchase of four are starting.
  • Anti-submarine helicopters for the Navy. The procedures for the purchase of four M60-R [Romeo] have been launched.
  • Modernization of air defense systems.
  • Reinforcement with 5th generation fighter aircraft. The government and the Ministry of Defense are oriented towards the purchase of at least one F-35 squadron in 2024.
  • Upgrade of the 4 MEKO type frigates.
  • Reinforcement with armored combat vehicles for the Army.
  • Unmanned Aerial Vehicles [UAV’s] support for all three industries.

The Special Forces

In the briefing, special reference was made to the operation plan of the Special Forces under a unified administration and spirit, which will report directly to the head of GEETHA.

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A NATO-standard camp is created in the 13th Special Operations Command. The 7th Amphibious Expeditionary Squadron [ZIMAK], the Submarine Disaster Management will be included there, while the creation of “Special Operations Aviation” is also planned.

General Floros is well aware that special forces are a power multiplier and an important tool that can judge modern forms of armed conflict and aim to make the best operational use of them. The briefing also referred to the necessary interventions that must be made to reduce the footprint of the Armed Forces. That is, in the abolition of some units in order to save resources and staff.

Israel arms and modernizes the Greek army

The Greek Defense Ministry is negotiating with the Israeli concern Elbit Maarahot on the modernization and rearmament of the air force. The estimated amount of the transaction is several tens of millions of euros as we reported on September 16.

We are talking about the modernization of Apache helicopters with the installation of Spike NLOS missiles on them, reports the Kalkalist edition.

The Israeli concern can also modernize the F-16 and Mirage-2000 aircraft of the Greek Air Force, installing modern avionics on them and equipping the pilots with Israeli-made technological helmets. At the moment, according to most experts, the Greek Air Force is significantly inferior in power, speed and armament to the Turkish Air Force.

Spike is a family of Israeli homing anti-tank missiles [some of the best or best in the world]. Option Spike Nlos – especially long range or “over the horizon” – up to 25 km.

In January 2020, an American Apache helicopter, using an Israeli missile, “opened” a Russian “Pantsir” in Arizona at night. Messages about a possible deal came against the backdrop of a sharply aggravated “gas” conflict between NATO members, Greece and Turkey.

Read more: US sources: the US Navy in South Aegean could destroy entire Turkish Navy

The essence of the conflict is the right to own oil and gas fields in the Mediterranean. Greece considers the field its own, but Turkey does not agree with this, which has repeatedly carried out geological exploration on the shelf.

In August 2020, the Turkish exploration vessel Oruk Reis entered the disputed area, accompanied by five warships. The Greek Navy accompanied this group.

The Turkish ship and convoy left the controversial place only after a harsh statement from the President of France. Two French Air Force planes and a French naval ship are patrolling the disputed area.

In January 2020, Israel, Greece and Cyprus signed an agreement that could cause a military conflict between the two NATO countries.

The oil conflict between Turkey and Greece and their long-standing relationship

In 2020, tensions between the already long-disputed countries in the Balkans – Greece and Turkey – will escalate sharply again. The reason for this is oil fields located in specific eastern parts of the Mediterranean, which give rise to a territorial dispute between the two Balkan countries.

All this, as expected, not only led to an escalation of political speeches and attacks between Greece and Turkey, but brought the Balkans closer to a possible new war after Athens and Ankara launched a series of military exercises in the region.

At the same time, Germany is trying to play the role of a peacemaker between the Balkan countries, while France has directly decided to support Greece in its conflict with the Turks.

Read more: War for the Cyprus ports and ‘defective’ Turkish S-400 missile systems

The mission ended with virtually no results. Then France came out on the side of Greece, sending its frigate and helicopter carrier to the Aegean Sea for joint maneuvers with the Greeks.

Note that Turkey and Greece have been at enmity for centuries. It was during the fall of Byzantium, and during the Ottoman Empire, and continues to this day. The last time these countries fought each other in 1974 in Cyprus. Turkey occupied the island after a military coup on it. After the discovery of a significant hydrocarbon reserve off the coast of Cyprus, sovereignty disputes continued.

Countries cannot share maritime economic zones. This is a Greek island located near the southern Turkish city of Antalya. Greece believes that part of this area belongs to the so-called Kastelorizo ​​continental shelf. Turkey disputes this, claiming that the island is too small and too far from mainland Greece to make such a claim.

However, this raises new problems as it turns out that the disputed body of water separating Greece and Turkey is the apple of discord and the dispute between them. According to the Turks, the country’s continental shelf should and should be eroded from the mainland and that the territory south of the Greek island is only a few kilometers from the southern coast of Turkey. This is the logic they follow in Ankara and believe that it belongs to its exclusive zone

At the same time, Athens argues and believes that the borders of a country should be determined on the basis of the islands that surround it, and they are an integral part of defining the borders of the continental shelf. Greece makes these claims in its UN maritime law. All this gives the Greeks the exclusive right to the territory, no matter how close it is to the Turkish border. However, there is one very important fact that the Turks are using at the moment, namely that Ankara has not signed the UN law on the law of the sea, which allows it to interpret the situation differently.

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