Greece sent a letter of request (LoR) to purchase Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fifth-generation fighter jets, the Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said while speaking at NATO summit in Madrid on June 30, 2022.
According to Mitsotakis, the country intends to purchase 20 fighter jets, with 20 more being considered as an option. The Hellenic Air Force is expected to start receiving the new jets in 2027-2028.
“Our intention is to acquire an F-35 squadron with a possible option for a second one. Sending a Letter of Request (LoR) which has happened in the past few days is part of this process,” Mitsotakis said, according to Reuters.Mitsotakis also underscored that the country finally has the capability to buy the aircraft.
Greece has been mulling the purchase of F-35s since 2009, but the order has been delayed numerous times due to the country’s financial situation.
The F-35s are expected to replace Greece’s ageing McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantom II fighters delivered in the 1970s and 1980s.
Greece has been heavily modernizing its air force in recent years, ordering Dassault Rafales from France to partially replace its Mirage 2000 fleet and upgrading older F-16 jets.