On September 10, the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, will visit Paris for his scheduled meeting with the French President, Emmanuel Macron.
Information from the Greek press and specifically from the newspaper “ETHNOS” states that the meeting of the two leaders aims to seal the defence agreement between Greece and France, which includes the sale of new and used French Rafale fighter jets to the Hellenic Air Force.
According to the article, all that remains is to clarify the final wording of the content of the defence cooperation between the two countries and whether it ultimately includes Paris’ defence assistance to Athens in case the latter is attacked.
Government sources, citing the publication of the newspaper “ETHNOS”, confirm the progress of contacts between the two sides at the highest possible level and stress that Greece is considering the US market for military equipment and frigates.
The next 15 days are considered crucial as, unless there is a de-escalation, Turkey will face very severe sanctions at the European Union special meeting on 24 and 25 September in Brussels, when the EU-Turkey relationship will be reviewed.
According to an ERT report, the air force staff is working feverishly and documents of interest for the Rafale fighter jets have already been sent to Paris. Also, the first close talks with the French side have taken place.
The French, according to the ERT report, are ready to deliver a significant number of used fighter jets in 2021, with the Greek side preparing for the necessary inspections of the candidate aircraft.
The information states that the used aircraft are 12 and France has already sent information regarding the flight hours that each one has, that is the schedule of each fighter jet, with the Greek side showing satisfaction for their condition.
Eight will be the new ones and with this data the number goes up to 20 and not 18, as initial information stated.
The delta-winged French Rafale fighter aircraft will be an enhancement for the Hellenic Air Force as it is an omnirole aircraft carrying strategically important weapons.
The Rafale is a twin-engine aircraft capable of taking off (version C) from both aircraft carriers and land. It is flexible and is able to carry out all combat air missions and can offer:
- Air superiority and air defence
- Close air support
- In-depth strikes
- Anti-ship strikes and nuclear deterrence.
The Rafale entered service with the French Navy in 2004 and with the French Air Force in 2006. With more than 30,000 flight hours in operations, it has proven its worth in combat in Afghanistan, Libya, Mali, Iraq and Syria. The Rafale was ordered by Egypt, Qatar and India.
With information from: ETHNOS / ERT.gr / Dassault Aviation
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