Athens is in negotiations with its ally France over future arms deals that might include the procurement of formidable French 4.5-generation Dassault Rafale jets.
This is what Philenews reported on Friday citing Greek press reports and adding that possession of such jets could pose a significant challenge to Turkish jets over the Aegean and Mediterranean.
Meanwhile a Greek official was quoted telling Reuters in early September: “We are in talks with France, and not only with France, in order to increase our country’s defense potential…These talks include the purchase of aircraft.”
This isn’t the first instance this year in which Greece has shown an interest in substantially upgrading its air force with more modern jets.
Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said in January, following a visit by the country’s prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Washington, that Greece plans to procure at least 24 stealthy fifth-generation F-35 Lightning II fighter jets from the United States for $3 billion.
Panagiotopoulos expects that the lengthy acquisition process would begin after 2024.
Athens is also in the process of upgrading its air force’s existing inventory.
Panagiotopouls has also said that 84 HAL F-16s will be updated to the latest Viper standard by 2027 as part of a $1.5 billion deal with manufacturer Lockheed Martin LMT.
Greece also signed contracts with French aerospace companies to upgrade its smaller Mirage 2000-5 fleet. The contracts’ value is estimated to amount to €260 million.