After finalizing its deal to buy Dassault Rafale multirole jet fighters from France, Greece may also seek more modern frigates. Athens will almost certainly require newer and more modern warships to counter its rival Turkey’s rapidly growing naval strength.
Greece and France signed the $2.8 billion Rafale deal this January. Greece is purchasing 18 of those 4.5-generation multirole jet fighters – six of which are brand new and 12 of which formerly served in the French Air Force – and expects to begin taking delivery of them this July.
Athens also wants to buy between 18 and 24 stealthy fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II jet fighters from the United States. It is open to purchasing second-hand versions of these aircraft too, especially if that would speed up their delivery.
Lockheed Martin has begun upgrading most of Greece’s F-16 fleet to the F-16V (Block 70/72) standard in a project that will make them the most advanced in Europe. The first of a total of 84 Hellenic Air Force (HAF) F-16s being upgraded was finished on January 17. This upgrade program is scheduled for completion by the end of June 2027. The HAF’s French-built Mirage 2000-5 Mk2s are also being upgraded to extend their lifespan.
Consequently, the HAF is steadily becoming a more modern and powerful air force. The future of its Turkish rival, on the other hand, looks bleaker than ever.
Ankara was suspended from the F-35 Joint Strike Program and had its order for at least 100 of these advanced stealth fighters canceled after it purchased and took delivery of advanced Russian S-400 air defense missile systems. Furthermore, Turkey’s large fleet of F-16C/Ds, Block 30/40/50 variants, which make up the backbone of its air force, may severely suffer from a lack of extensive upgrades in the long-term.
Read more: Forbes