Wednesday, February 21, 2024
 
 

Greece signs deal with Lockheed Martin to upgrade F-16 fleet

EPA/STEFANOS RAPANIS
Greek Air Force F-16 fighter jets seen flying during refueling-by-air training from a KC-135 aircraft of US Air Force at Chania, Crete island,on 13 August 2014.

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Greece has signed a €280 million deal with the US defence contractor Martin Lockheed to upgrade its F-16 fleet over the next seven years.
The Security of Supply and Information Agreement (SSI) that was signed on the eve of Christmas between the General Directorate of Defence Investments and the U.S. firm is part of a wider defence modernisation program estimated at €1.8 billion.
Greece’s Defence Minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos had told Parliament in December that 84 F-16 jets would be upgraded by 2027 to the advanced-tech Viper class, however the speed of the update would be determined by the number of aircraft required to remain in active service.
The move is considered a necessary measure to protect the country’s essential interests.
The financial crisis that stroke Greece more than 10 years ago, pushed the governing parties to cripple the defence spending as the country had to undergo three international bailouts between 2010 and 2018 to avoid bankruptcy.
Escalating tensions with neighbouring Turkey over the drilling vessels off Cyprus’ coast and over Turkey’s agreement with Libya over the maritime zones boundaries in the Eastern Mediterranean had Greece strengthening its military ties with the US.
 

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