N. Panagiotopoulos | Tour in France, Israel and USA for armaments
Defence Redefined
Published on 10/01/2022 at 10:00

January seems to be an important month for the Armed Forces’ armament programs, with the Minister of National Defence, Nikos Panayotopoulos, visiting France, Israel, and the United States consecutively, until the end of the month.

These are three countries with which Greece has, on the one hand, concluded defence agreements and, on the other hand, are among the main suppliers of the Greek arsenal with state-of-the-art weapon systems. 


Pentagon circles consider the participation of Mr. Panagiotopoulos in the informal meeting of the EU Ministers of Defence and Foreign Affairs on January 11-12 in the city of Brest in Brittany, in northwestern France, to be particularly significant and of special importance. On the sidelines of the meeting, Mr. Panagiotopoulos is going to have a private meeting with his French counterpart Florence Parley, during which the Greek-French defence agreement will be put on the table once again, after the relevant negotiations between the two sides in terms of clarification and precise definition of its parameters are still ongoing.

At the center of the discussion of the two Ministers will also be the latest developments around the two main Greek armament programs that have been assigned to the French war industry; the reason for the inclusion of the 24 Rafale fighter aircraft in the Air Force and the construction of 3 [email protected] frigates. The cutting of the “first sheet metal” of the first Greek [email protected] has already taken place in the middle of last month at the shipyards of the Naval Group, in the city of Lorient.

Mr. Panagiotopoulos’ visit to France is considered crucial for the implementation of the supply of 24 Rafale, since the Greek side seeks the strict observance of the relevant timeframes. It should be noted that the first six (2 two-seaters and 4 single-seaters) are expected to arrive at Tanagra Air Base at noon on January 19, in the presence of Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the political and military leadership of the Ministry of National Defence.

Also read: Hellenic National Defence General Staff (HNDGS) | Military Contacts with French Defence Staff – PHOTOS


In the afternoon of the same day, Mr. Panagiotopoulos will leave for Israel, where he will hold talks with his Israeli counterpart as well as members of the Israeli defence industry. The maintenance and modernization of three Greek C-130 aircraft in Israel is expected to be at the center of the discussions. The relevant file has already left the Hellenic Air Force General Staff and is in the office of the Minister of Defence, while relevant information is estimated to be made in the next period and in the competent committee of the Parliament.

At the same time, the discussions of the two sides are estimated to occupy the possible supply by the Hellenic Armed Forces of modern weapon systems such as the Iron Dome anti-aircraft system for which our country has expressed interest in installing it in the Aegean islands in order to protect them from missile attacks or artillery fire coming from the opposite coast of Asia Minor, in the event of a Greek-Turkish conflict.

Also read: Israel | Reinforcement with American CH-53K helicopters and KC-46 refueling aircraft

United States

The visit that Mr. Panagiotopoulos is going to pay on January 31 in Washington, where he will meet for the first time, on American soil, with American counterpart Lloyd Austin is also considered to be of great importance.

After all, the USA remains the main supplier of the Greek arsenal on land, air, and sea. The Hellenic Army is already in the process of receiving strategic reserves of 1,200 wheeled armored vehicles M1117 from the US, while the recent admonition expressed within the US defence budget, regarding the strengthening of Greece’s military capabilities, is considered particularly important.

In this context, the two sides are expected to discuss ways to accelerate the supply of US 5th generation F-35 fighter jets by our Air Force – something that is considered to be a key factor in Greek armaments in the Aegean and SE Mediterranean against the Turkish threat – while an exchange of views is estimated to take place for the Hellenic Navy’s armament program.

Source: Proto Thema

Also read: USA | Menendez bill on defence cooperation with Greece to the Senate





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