Greek and Indian Air Forces boost cooperation following Turkish-Pakistani provocations

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Greek Lieutenant General Themistoklis Bourolias, Chief of the Hellenic Air Force General Staff, visited New Delhi and paid homage to Indian fallen soldiers at the National War Memorial and met with the country's military's top chiefs.

He discussed with his Indian counterparts issues of mutual interest, including ongoing and new avenues for defence cooperation.

Greek and Indian Air Forces boost cooperation following Turkish-Pakistani provocations.

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General Bourolias met the Indian Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), General Anil Chauhan, Indian Army Chief Gen Manoj Pande and Indian Air Force Chief Air Chief Marshal V R Chaudhari.

Lt Gen Themistoklis Bourolias Chief of Hellenic Air Force visited ASTE on 13th June. He interacted with senior functionaries and Test Crew at ASTE. Image credits: Air Force Test Pilots School (India).
Lt Gen Themistoklis Bourolias Chief of Hellenic Air Force visited ASTE on 13th June. He interacted with senior functionaries and Test Crew at ASTE. Image credits: Air Force Test Pilots School (India).

This visit is particularly important in face of the ever expanding Turkey-Pakistan axis, which has the aim of establishing neo-Ottoman and neo-Mughal Empires. The two countries support their respective territorial expansion ambitions: in Turkey's case, Cyprus, the Greek islands and western Thrace, and in Pakistan's case, Jammu and Kashmir.

In light of this threat, strategic relations between Greece and India have become a priority.

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It is recalled that in August 2017, four ships of the Indian Navy (INS Mumbai, INS Aditya, INS Tarkash and INS Trishul), paid a goodwill visit to Souda Bay, Crete. This was followed by a 30 June 2021 joint exercise by the Indian Navy Frigate INS Tabar and the Greek Themistoklis Frigate in the sea area southwest of Crete.

Indian and Greek Air Forces too participated together in the ‘Blue Flag’ exercise held in Israel from 17 October to 28 October, 2021.

When the Greek Air Force exercise ‘Iniochos 2021’ was held in April 20, 2021 at the Andravida airbase, the only invitation extended to a non-participating country was the Indian Mission.

In 2023, from April 26 to May 03, the Greek and Indian Air Forces collaborated on a joint training exercise with Su-30, F-16, and Rafale fighter jets over Greece and the Mediterranean Sea. The exercise was conducted as part of the annual Greek exercise ‘Iniochos 23’, led by the Greek Air Force and the Greek Air Tactics Centre of the Ministry of Defence.

Pakistani pilots first, to common knowledge, flew Turkish fighter jets into Greek airspace during the November 2019 joint military exercises between Turkey and Pakistan.

On November 13, 2019, without filing a flight plan with Greek authorities, a Pakistani P-3 Orion Naval Co-operation and Information Collection Aircraft was flown into Greek airspace.

This incident made Greek military analysts realise that the exercise meant the beginning of a deepening new military alliance between Pakistan and Turkey, and the immediate necessity for a Greek-Indian partnership.

READ MORE: Air Chief Marshal Baber admits that Turkish pilots are trained by Pakistanis!

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