Greece to Sell Some of Its Fighter Jets

pilot French made Mirage Hellenic Air Force's fleet of Mirage 2000/5 warplanes

Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias has announced plans for a significant overhaul of the country's armed forces, including the decommissioning and sale of F-16 and Mirage 2000 fighter jets.

Dendias emphasized the need to streamline the Air Force, citing the current fleet's diversity as a burden due to various aircraft types. "We have F-4s, Mirage 2000-5s, Block 30 F-16s, Block 50 F-16s, Block 52 F-16s, Viper F-16s, and Rafales. We cannot move forward like this," he stated.

The decision to reduce the fighter jet fleet is primarily motivated by high maintenance costs. The oldest aircraft, such as the F-4s and Mirage 2000-5s, will be retired and potentially sold. Dendias highlighted the Mirage 2000-5 and Block 30 F-16s as candidates for sale, emphasizing the financial strain of maintaining multiple aircraft models.

Previously, Greece had plans to sell 18 Mirage 2000 aircraft to India, decommissioned from its air force in 2022.

Regarding the remaining F-16 fleet, which includes Block 30 and Block 50 versions, the exact number of operational jets is undisclosed. However, those remaining in service will undergo upgrades to the Block 70/72 versions, the most advanced variant of the F-16.

Dendias also expressed the need to bolster the Rafale fleet from 24 to 30 aircraft and to procure the F-35 Block 4. Despite acknowledging delays in the F-16 upgrade program, he expressed confidence that Greece would have an "adequate fleet" of aircraft by 2027.

In January, the US State Department approved the potential sale of 40 F-35A fighter jets and associated equipment to Greece, totaling $8.6 billion.

Copyright Greekcitytimes 2024