Greece to buy six additional Rafale

Greece wants to buy 6 additional Rafale fighter jets, bringing its total orders to 24, announced on Sunday (September 12th). on Twitter, the French Minister of the Armed Forces, Florence Parly. “European cooperation is progressing, in concrete terms”, added in a tweet the French Secretary of State for European Affairs, Clément Beaune.

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis hinted on Saturday that his country would take this step. “I announced the purchase of 18 Rafale. Soon there will be 24, he said. The first of them will fly in the Greek skies before the end of the year. “

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Mr. Mitsotakis also announced that a “Discu[ssion portant sur] a five-year extension of the defense cooperation agreement ” was underway with the United States, instead of annual negotiations as conducted so far. Under the terms of these agreements, could follow “A greater American presence [en Grèce], added the Prime Minister, who does not close “Not the door to other strategic agreements”, citing the relation ” very close “ with France.

In January, Greece concluded in record time the purchase of its first 18 Rafales to strengthen its defense and its partnership with France.

A first contract of 2.5 billion euros

The decision to negotiate was taken in September 2020 by the Hellenic Republic in reaction to Turkey’s gas explorations and its demonstrations of force in disputed waters with Greece and Cyprus. France then assisted Athens by sending Rafales and warships to cope with the deployment of Turkish military ships.

The main mission of the combat aircraft acquired will be to ensure “Territorial integrity” of Greece in a context of “Potential instability” coming in particular from Turkey, according to the Greek Minister of Defense, Nikolaos Panayotopoulos.

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This first contract, worth around 2.5 billion euros, covers 12 used aircraft and 6 new aircraft, to be delivered by September 2023. For France, this contract represented the first sale of the Rafale in Europe, towards which Paris is seeking to direct its arms exports and encourage cooperation. By the end of May, Croatia followed suit, with an order for 12 second-hand planes. Qatar (36 aircraft), Egypt (24) and India (36) are Rafale’s other international customers.

The aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation delivered its first Rafale to Greece in July, a second-hand aircraft taken from the French Air Force fleet, like the 11 others to come.

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