Greece and India will sign a historic military cooperation agreement - Greek military chief in New Delhi next week

The INS Chennai and Hellenic Navy ship Nikiforos Fokas conducted exercises in the Mediterranean Sea on 27-29 July. Indian Greece

General Dimitrios Houpis will travel next week to the most populous country and the 5th largest economy on the planet, with a rich agenda around defence issues.

Another step toward deepening bilateral relations between Athens and New Delhi is the upcoming visit of the head of the Hellenic National Defence General Staff (GEETHA) to India. General Dimitrios Houpis will arrive next week in the most populous country and the fifth largest economy on the planet, with a rich agenda around defence issues.

According to Kathimerini, the two countries will sign a Military Cooperation Program for the first time in their modern history. The program includes exercises and joint activities with personnel from all three branches—the Army, Navy, and Air Force— as well as the Special Forces.

Kathimerini states that the two countries' military staffs are already preparing a full joint training program, in which military forces from Greece will participate in activities of a national scale in India and vice versa. Participation in international exercises organised by Athens and New Delhi, such as "Iniochos" and "Tarang Shakti," is also planned.

Furthermore, the exchange of military personnel and cooperation in information, high technology and innovation will be foreseen.

The GEETHA chief, along with his counterpart, General Anil Chauhan, and other high-ranking officials, will discuss bilateral and regional security issues. According to sources, armaments issues will also be discussed.

At the centre of the discussions will be the situation in the Middle East, Greece's participation in the European operation Aspides in the Red Sea - an area of ​​vital interest for New Delhi - and cooperation with the Indian navy, developments in Ukraine as well as the implementation of the India, Middle East, Europe Corridor (IMEC).

Greek fighter jets in India

The Military Cooperation Program will be implemented in the coming months, and Greek fighter jets will travel to South Asia for the first time.

According to well-informed sources, the Air Force's participation in the "Tarang Shakti" exercise has been confirmed. In September, four aircraft and support personnel were set to participate in one of the largest air exercises in Asia.

Although the aircraft type has yet to be finalised, the Air Chief Staff is considering sending four Rafales of the 332 Falcon Squadron as the Indian Air Force also uses them and will be easier to support. However, the F-16 Viper may qualify since Indian pilots have a great interest in it since they form the backbone of Pakistan's air force and are often called upon to face it in dogfights.

The dispatch of Greek fighter jets also follows the presence of the Indian Su-30MK for exercise "Iniochos 2023." It was the first time that military forces from India were stationed in Greece, and the beastly Sukhoi flew over the Acropolis and was photographed together with the Greek F-4 Phantoms.

The Indians also appear to have expressed initial interest in the Greek Air Force's Mirage 2000-5, for which, according to the Ministry of National Defence, a buyer is being sought.

Strategic cooperation

Greece and India are investing significant diplomatic and military capital in strengthening their bilateral relations.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Athens in August 2023 was followed by the visit of Kyriakos Mitsotakis in New Delhi last February, with the two leaders agreeing to deepen cooperation in security, cyber defence, infrastructure and the economy.

India seeks to increase its footprint in the eastern Mediterranean, which its military forces visited thrice in 2023. The start was for "Iniochos," followed by the docking of the guided missile destroyer INS Chennai in Souda, and the participation of military personnel and media of the two countries in Egypt's major multi-branch exercise "Bright Star 23".

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