The Greek government's discussions with the Americans and the option to acquire 20 F-35s
The Greek Ministry of National Defense staff and the Americans from the Joint Strike Fighter Program Office (JPO), Washington, have proposed 2028 as the milestone year to begin the delivery of the first 20 F-35s that will form the first squadron to which the 5th generation fighter jets for Greece.
In 2028, the modernization of the Air Force’s 83 F-16s to the Viper version is expected to be completed, and the Americans propose to start immediately after the F-35 delivery program. The American company proposes to deliver to the Greek Air Force four F-35s in 2028, two in 2029, three in 2030, three in 2031, four in 2032 and the last four F-35s in 2033.
The delivery schedule the Air Force will smoothly absorb the 5th generation fighter aircraft, setting up the first squadron where the trained pilots and certified technicians will join the unit.
The cost of the purchase cannot yet be precisely determined. The Americans of the manufacturing company Lockheed Martin have explained that the “fly away” cost for each F-35A amounts to about 80 million dollars. Just to buy the first 20 fighter jets, without weapons and not including the cost of training Air Force pilots, will require $1.6 billion.
If we add the cost of the F-35 infrastructure, the work to be done by Greek companies, the training of Air Force pilots and the required spare parts for the period from the delivery of the 1st to the delivery of the 20th fighter aircraft, the program’s budget may jump to $3.5-3.7 billion.
This will be the price for the purchase of the first 20 F-35s that the government has decided to acquire for the transition of the Hellenic Air Force to the next generation of Jets.
The cost of the order has included for the purchase of four flight simulators which are essentially the F-35 itself without the engine. In order to train on the ground the operators who will be responsible for flying the expensive fighter aircraft, the offered simulator consists of all the systems of the F-35, without the “shell” and the engine, the functions of which are reflected in the canopy of the simulator .
How much do these four F-35 simulators cost? Almost 220 million dollars, that is, about as much as three new aircraft.