Greek Defence Minister Panos Kammenos confirmed that the country was planning on upgrading the F-16 aircraft and spending money on the maintenance of the S-300 defence missile system, during parliamentary question time. “We are aware of the economic circumstances.
Our initiatives will be within the limitations of the fiscal framework”, he said in response to a question put forward by DIMAR MP Thanasis Theocharopoulos.
Mr. Kammenos stressed that the costs for Greece’s armament procurement program had been secured with guaranteed credit. “Despite the fiscal conditions we have reserved 2% for our defence program”, he underlined, adding that the US had aided the country by offering military hardware, like the Chinook helicopters for free.
On reports that Greece has expressed interest in the stealth F-35 jet fighters, the Defence Minister said the country had forwarded a request on price and availability for a possible procurement of 20 air craft. “The request was made to explore the possibilities of a procurement which would be decided by the Greek parliament.”
In his response to the MP Mr. Kammenos blasted the Simitis government of 1996 for lack of national determination. “We are not like the Simitis government which let the flag over Imia fly off”, he commented.