It appears that the first reaction of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to the news that Greece received six French-made Rafales and for the Belharra frigates, which are expected to be received by 2026, is one of nervousness.
According to SKAI, when asked by reporters about Greece’s armaments program, the Turkish president replied that Greece buys various military items from France and stressed that “we must” strengthen.
He noted that Greece makes various calculations in the region.
“Turkey is developing in a different way than in the past, it is getting stronger and we are obliged to strengthen, because in our region, in different places, there are some who have their own calculations,” Erdoğan said.
He then pointed blame for tensions on Turkey’s neighbour, saying the calculation he refers to is “mainly [about] Greece, which buys various things from France and other places.”
“We are in an effort to have our own autonomy,” the Turkish president added.
The first six Rafale fighter jets that Greece purchased landed at Tanagra Airbase last week from France.
“Welcome to your home, good landings and always safely,” the head of the control tower at the Tanagra Air Base told the Greek pilots of the six Rafales that arrived in Greece.
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.
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.