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    Panagiotopoulos | “40 modern fighter jets should be acquired for the Hellenic Air Force by 2025”

    Defence Redefined
    Published on 13/01/2021 at 15:20
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    Yesterday, January 12, 2021 the “Approval of draft contracts in the field of Defence” bill was presented to the Standing Committee on National Defence & Foreign Affairs. During the presentation, the Minister of National Defence of Greece, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, mentioned, among other things, that the Hellenic Air Force should acquire 40 modern fighter jets by 2025.

    “So in the context of this ongoing and intensive effort, taking into account the context of the announcements the Prime Minister made at the TIF in September, based on the requirements of the current Force hierarchy 2015 – 2027 and the Force hierarchy 2020 – 2034 which is under approval (for which I remind you that the Armaments Committee has given a positive opinion about two months ago) and, of course, in view of the overall organized, prioritized and costed plan prepared and implemented for the country’s armaments, it is estimated, among other things, that forty modern fighter jets will be acquired for the Hellenic Air Force by 2025. Forty modern fighter jets in total! Based on this, we also decided to acquire the “Rafale” fighter jets – the “F3R” version – which is the most advanced of this state-of-the-art aircraft. Its specifications and the power of its weapons form clear conditions of superiority in favor of the Hellenic Air Force in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean, as well as in the total balance of air combat power of Greece – Turkey.”

    Also read: French Rafale Fighter Aircraft in Paphos | Flights over Cyprus in the coming days

    In his long speech, the Minister also referred to the “life limit” of Rafale aircraft, explaining the following: 

    “The French built, invented a system functioning as an aircraft fatigue index, the so-called “fatigue Index”, and with some special parameters they determined the accumulation of damage for each aircraft offered to us, because you know there are different factors impacting on the latter. For example, a Greek fighter does not undergo the same stress, in the same number of flight hours, compared to a French one, because – the Chief knows best – within two or three or four minutes after take-off the Greek fighter is engaged in air combat and frequently reaches the limits of its capabilities, when engaged with corresponding Turkish fighters in an interception. This is not the same for the French fighter jet. One flight hour for the French can be a very comfortable flight without the aircraft being subjected to difficult and often dangerous maneuvers.

    All of this has therefore been taken into account. The solution finally proposed by the French was considered extremely satisfactory by the Hellenic Air Force and, in addition, (this is a very important point I would say) 70% of the operational life of each aircraft is ensured. In other words, the French provide us with 3,500 hours out of a total of five thousand hours which is the life limit of each “Rafale” fighter jet. With these three and a half thousand hours and, of course, with the upgrade possibility offered to us, it will be possible (if we choose) to extend this life limit to 7,000 hours in 2023 and to 9,000 hours in 2025.”

    You can read the entire speech of Nikos Panagiotopoulos here

    Also read: Aeronautical Exercise “EUNOMIA” | The forces deployed in the sea and airspace of the Eastern Mediterranean – Photos & VIDEO

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