Indian Air Force Chief to visit Greece: "Major game-changer in strategic messaging", says Indian media

Indian Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari

Indian Air Chief Marshal V.R. Chaudhari is expected to visit Greece and is being reported in Indian media "as a major game-changer, certainly for the Indian Air Force (IAF), but also in terms of strategic messaging."

According to Times Now, Greece has been identified by New Delhi as a "great tactical help to the IAF as its air force flies not just the Rafale that India has acquired from France, but also the F-16 C/D, which the Pakistan Air Force has."

As Greece is a NATO member, it flies alliance-made planes, including France's Rafale and American-made F-16's.

"The Hellenic Air Force has acquired both planes and will have a clear idea of the operational aspects of a Rafale vs F16 C/D matchup," said high-level sources, in speaking to Times Now.

Currently, the F16C/D is the best fighter Pakistan has. It has the F16A/B, but it belongs to a previous generation. Due to Greece having Rafale's and the F16C/D, it can provide a clear and impartial view on their performances and how they compare with each other operationally.

This will help the IAF in dealing with the Pakistan Air Force, if necessary.

With both countries having the Rafale, it will be an opportunity to work together and share information on the fighter. At the moment, apart from France and India, there are only about half and dozen countries that fly the Rafale.

The Greeks have considerable experience with the Rafale, the report said.

The strategic aspect of the visit comes from the fact that the Greeks have a difficult relationship with Turkey, also a NATO country.

This is a problem that has persisted for many years. While India and Turkey have diplomatic and also economic ties, Ankara's military help to Islamabad has caused considerable concern.

Turkey is making four MILGEM-class heavy corvettes for the Pakistan Navy. Three corvettes, called Babur-class by Pakistan are in varying states of readiness, and one has joined the fleet.

Turkey has also sold PNS Moawin, a fleet tanker to the Pakistan Navy and repaired PNS Alamgir, a guided-missile frigate, and therefore, a frontline warship. It had problems with its sonar, fire control systems and radar.

Besides, PNS Alamgir also participated in a high-profile Turkish naval exercise— Dogu Akdeniz—with the Turks in the Mediterranean Sea in November last year. Pakistan and Turkey have frequent consultations about their air force assets— both have F16s.

This comes as Indian Lt Gen Manoj Kumar Mago and members of 62nd Course of the National Defence College in New Delhi visited the various Hellenic Armed Forces and Multinational establishments on Crete on June 9.

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