The government of Greece is considering the acquisition of six additional French-made Rafale fighter jets, local media protothema.gr reports.
Greece placed an initial order of 18 Dassault Rafale fighter jets for the Hellenic Air Force in January 2021. The contract included 12 used Rafale jets of the French Air Force and 6 new ones, all to the F3R standard, as well as an array of weapons that include Exocet anti-ship missiles and SCALP cruise missiles. The contract was estimated at €1.92 billion for the aircraft, with an additional €400 million for their weapons.
The deduction of the fighter jets from the French Air Force fleet allowed a faster and cheaper procurement for Greece, in the wake of territorial tensions with Turkey. The first six fighters, taken from the inventory of the French Air Force, should arrive in Greece as early as July 2021. The rest of the order will be delivered in two installments of six in 2022 and 2023.
But Greek authorities could now be considering expanding the 332nd “Falcon” Squadron to 24 aircraft. “A squadron has at least 18 fighter jets. A good number for a war squadron is 24,” a military source told protothema.gr. The squadron is to be located in Tanagra, the home base of the 114th Combat Wing of the Hellenic Air Force. The wing is used to French-made aircraft: after flying the Mirage F1CG fighter from 1975 to 2003, it is currently equipped with the Mirage 2000-5.
Four pilots of the Hellenic Air Force already started their training in France to become accustomed to the Dassault Rafale fighter jet. Greek technicians also began training with their French counterparts.