Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed that the government would be ordering six more Dassault Rafale fighter jets. An order for 18 French-made fighter jets was already placed for the Hellenic Air Force in January 2021.
The previous contract, valued at €2.5 billion, included 12 used Rafale jets of the French Air Force and six 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 deduction of the fighter jets from the French Air Force fleet allowed a faster and cheaper procurement for Greece amid heightened territorial tensions with Turkey.
The six extra aircraft will be ordered new from Dassault Aviation. They will complete the squadron, which will be located in Tanagra, Greece, the home base of the 114th Combat Wing of the HAF, Mitsotakis explained during the Thessaloniki International Fair on September 12, 2021.
The wing is accustomed to French-made aircraft: after flying the Mirage F1CG fighter from 1975 to 2003, it is currently equipped with the Mirage 2000-5. The first batch of HAF pilots and 50 technicians are currently being trained at the Dassault Aviation Conversion Training Center (CTC) in Mérignac, France.
Dassault Aviation delivered the first Rafale fighter jet to the Hellenic Air Force on July 21, 2021. The aircraft should fly to Greece by the end of the year, according to Mitsotakis.