The images of the first Rafale for Greece emerged at the Dassault facility. It is a two-seater model B, whose estimated delivery date is scheduled for July 21.
Το διθέσιο Rafale στις εγκαταστάσεις της Dasault. Παράδοση προγραμματισμένη την 21η Ιουλίου! Πηγή: Dasault Aviation pic.twitter.com/blEn0BDJ9t
— Stam Pittas (@Stam_Pittas) July 4, 2021
At the beginning of the year, the Greek and French Defense Ministry agreed to purchase 18 Dassault Rafale fighter jets, logistical support and weapons, for € 2.35 billion.
Of these 18 aircraft, 12 units will be second-hand, which are currently part of the stock of the French Air and Space Army and the remaining 6 will be new from the factory, in the F3R standard.
Hellenic Air Force sources commented that there are plans to buy an additional 6 Rafale, to bring the squadron number to 24 units. If completed, it would be a new contract with an approximate value of 800 million euros.
These purchases represent the growing compromise between Greece and France’s strategic policies towards the eastern Mediterranean and their alliance against Turkish expansionism.
To supply the aircraft that will be transferred to Greece, the French Defense Ministry signed a contract with Dassault for the purchase of 12 new Rafale F3Rs.
And since Croatia also opted for second-hand Rafale to replace its MiG-21s, another new contract for new aircraft is expected for the French Air Force. As the Rafale F4 model recently began its flight tests, possibly the units to be built will be of this more advanced model.
This first delivery of a Rafale B to the Hellenic Air Force (HAF), will be followed by the other 11 former French units, over a period of 2 years.
This speed is justified by the urgent need of the Greek authorities to have as soon as possible a squadron of aircraft offering long-range deterrence capabilities. Which could explain, in part, why the proportion of second-hand units is so large.