The first six Rafale fighter jets that Greece purchased landed at Tanagra Airbase after departing at 09:25 local time (Greek time 10:25) from Istria in France to the 114th Battle Wing.
After a two-hour direct flight, the twin-engine French fighter jets landed at the base at approximately 12:30 p.m.
Before landing at Tanagra, where they will join the 332 Squadron, the six Rafale’s flew over the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis, which they passed at 12:22.
Four of the six Rafale are single-seater and the other two are two-seater.
In the two-seater Rafale, co-pilots in the cockpit are French trainers from the Dassault manufacturer.
After entering the Athens Flight Information Region, the Rafale’s were accompanied by a pair of Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets.
In Tanagra, the new Rafales were welcomed by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos, the Chief of the General Staff of National Defense Konstantinos Floros, the Chief of the General Staff of the Hellenic Air Force Rear Admiral George Blioumis and French Ambassador Patrick Maisonnave.
It is recalled that the contract for the purchase of 18 Rafale fighter jets (of which six are new and 12 are used) was signed on January 25, 2021.
The acquisition of the first 18 French Rafale will cost Greek taxpayers 2.32 billion euros, along with the weapons they carry.
For the other six Rafale, another 1.07 billion euros are expected to be disbursed.
The total cost for the 24 Rafale (of which 12 are new and 12 are used), with their weapons and materials for their three-year maintenance, 3.3 billion euros.
View this post on Instagram
In total, Greece will procure 24 Rafale fighter jets, at a total cost of 3.3 billion euros.
The additional contract for the purchase of an additional six new Rafale fighter jets is expected to be signed in the coming weeks, according to Proto Thema.
Two of the six Rafale that arrived in Greece today are the two-seater. These will be used for the training of young pilots, while the other four are single-seater.
The training of eight Greek pilots and 50 aircraft technicians has already been completed, which took place in France.
The Rafale fighters have a range of 2,800 miles and a large fuel capacity, two engines, are equipped with modern and powerful electronic scanning radar and are capable of carrying two Exocet missiles.