EDITOR’S NOTE (Nick Stamatakis): The arrival today of the first 6 (out of a total of 24) French Rafale fighter jets makes the Hellenic Air Force, already one of the most powerful in Europe, even stronger. The Greek airforce pilots, recognized worldwide for their superb skills, will now have the chance to dominate the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean…
I would however suggest keeping the celebrations low… And I will remind everyone that in 1974 when Turkey invaded Cyprus, Greece was also ahead technologically, and had just imported the then best fighter jet worldwide, the F-4 Phantom, and had the usual advantages when it came to naval capabilities… Despite these advantages, Turkey was left to invade Cyprus uninhibited. Why? Because of the traitors in the Greek leadership and because of the DC foreign policy establishment who gave preference to Turkey…
The same corrupt DC establishment is recently showing signs of giving the same preference to Turkey. This time it’s is even more egregious and unacceptable. Because at the same time as they are ready to go to war against China for territorial water disputes with Japan, Taiwan, and the Philippines (similar to the territorial disputes between Greece and Turkey), this same time they are asking Greece to forfeit its sovereignty in certain parts of the Aegean… Furthermore, they demand Greece to become the ONLY COUNTRY in the world that has not claimed its 12-mile from shore territorial waters!!… Totally unbelievable and shameless!! Totally unacceptable for the supposed “strategic alliance” between US and Greece!…
Greece will be well advised to keep Russia’s door wide open. More specifically, Greece should never authorize the use of the port of Alexandroupolis or any other base for military action in Ukraine against Russia. Russia’s foreign minister Lavrov already sent Greece a warning a few days ago (link here). Greece cannot allow itself to become a target for the powerful Russian missiles so that the sickos and lunatics in DC keep dreaming that they are a “unipower”…
If anyone wonders what a War Party lunatic looks like here is a video of lieutenant Alexander Vindman proposing War in Ukraine…
Greece receives six French fighter jets as part of €11.5bn military overhaul
Government has announced a seven-fold increase in defence spending amid tensions with Turkey over gas reserves
The jets roared over the symbolic monument en route to the Tanagra airbase, highlighting the Greek government’s decision to press ahead with a major military overhaul amid tensions with Turkey.
“These new warplanes make our air force one of the strongest in Europe and the Mediterranean,” said the prime minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, attending a reception ceremony at the airbase north of Athens.
While deterrence was the ultimate goal, the acquisitions would bolster “the flexibility of our national diplomacy”, he said.
The centre-right administration has announced a seven-fold increase in defence spending on last year. Greek combat pilots are frequently forced to engage in mock dogfights in Aegean airspace disputed by Turkey, and Mitsotakis described the need to upgrade the air force as urgent.
In addition to 24 Rafales old and new, Athens will take stock of warships, helicopters and 84 modernised, US-made F-16s aircraft as part of a procurement programme that will also include the purchase of Meteor air-to-air missiles.
The acquisition of F-35 stealth combat aircraft – seen as a gamechanger by the Hellenic armed forces – is also being discussed, according to defence experts in Washington and Athens.
The purchase of the French-made Rafales is part of a military overhaul that is projected to cost Greece €11.5bn by 2025 and is not without controversy. The leftwing opposition party Syriza has called the spending excessive at a time when the pandemic and a cost of living crisis weigh ever more heavily on Greece.
The overhaul is aimed as much at strengthening the nation’s war readiness against Turkey as reinforcing its security role on Nato’s south-eastern flank. Analysts described the acquisition of the Rafales as a turning point in the Hellenic air force’s long-range missile capacity.
“Their arrival marks the first in a series of defence deals that are currently in motion,” said Ioannis Michaletos, of the Institute for Security and Defence Analysis. “Greece has not bought weapons in such quantities for more than a decade. It’s going to be a very eventful year in terms of European contractors coming to Athens to try and seal deals.”
Tensions over rival claims to offshore gas reserves in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean brought Greece and Turkey to the brink of war in 2020. Ankara’s recent economic woes, in the wake of the country’s currency crisis, has also caused nervousness in Athens.
“Aside from the perennial antagonism between Greece and Turkey, both also want to upgrade their role within Nato because of the diplomatic and political consequences that will bring,” said Michaletos.
The sight of the French fighter jets in Greek skies came barely four months after Mitsotakis signed an historic, multibillion-euro military accord with the French president, Emmanuel Macron, in Paris.
Under the deal, France will deliver three state-of-the art Belharra frigates to Greece by 2025. France’s deteriorating ties with Turkey has been echoed by an enhancement in bilateral relations between Athens and Paris, cemented by the nations’ shared common interests in the Mediterranean.