SHAH ALAM: Greece orders 18 Dassault Rafales as part of the country’s military modernisation programme as it face tensions with Turkey over the latter’s plans for oil and gas exploration in a disputed part of the Mediterranean Sea.
Apart from the Rafales, Greece will also upgrade 10 of its Mirage 2000-5 jets, buy four new multi role frigates and upgrade four older frigates, four ASW helicopters and new guided weapons for the navy, air force and army.
According to Greek media, a number of Rafales – eight – will arrived in Greece by mid-2021 indicating that these are French Air Force aircraft likely to be used to train pilots on their new mounts. The Greek on September 12 announced their intention to order the Rafale.
The release from Dassault Aviation.
Saint-Cloud, France, September 12, 2020 – Greece announced today its intention to acquire 18 Rafales to equip its air force.
This announcement illustrates the strength of the partnership that has linked the Greek Air Force and Dassault Aviation for more than 45 years, and demonstrates the enduring strategic relationship between Greece and France.
Greece ordered 40 Mirage F1 from Dassault Aviation in 1974, then 40 Mirage 2000 in 1985 and finally 15 Mirage 2000-5 in the year 2000; this latest contract also includes the modernization of 10 Mirage 2000 to the 2000-5 standard with a large contribution from Greek industry.
“I am delighted with this announcement, which reinforces the exceptional relationship we have had with Greece for nearly half a century, and I thank the Greek authorities for their confidence in us once again. Dassault Aviation is fully mobilized to meet the operational needs expressed by the Greek Air Force, and thus contribute to ensuring Greece’s sovereignty and the safety of the Greek people,” said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.
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It must be noted that the Greek air force also operates some 170 F-16s in various blocks , 30, 50 and 52s. It is interesting to see that a country which faces threats and coercion from another country – although both belong to the same military block – feels the need to modernise its military despite the economic hardships it is facing.
— Malaysian Defence