Greece to further shield the Aegean with new frigates & Rafale fighter jets|BCI GREECE
The Greek PM will meet during this week with the French President on the sidelines of the summit in Corsica organized by the French President
The acquisition of four frigates, instead of two that was the original requirement as well as 18 French Rafale jet fighters are included in the new Greek military program. The program is being prepared with very fast procedures at the Ministry of National Defense and the Maximos Palace, in order to shield the Armed Forces and secure the sovereignty over the entire Greek territory. The Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will meet during this week with the French President Emmanuel Macron on the sidelines of the summit in Corsica organized by the French President on Thursday and Friday. The crisis of the last 30 days with Turkey has highlighted problems that had accumulated over a period of more than a decade, both due to the economic situation at the time of the memoranda and due to miscalculations and delays in decision-making for the design and implementation of the military programs. In the next few weeks and until the end of the year, about 1.5 billion Euros are expected to be disbursed for the first urgent defense supplies, as revealed by Proto Thema on August 14. Absolute priority is given to the purchase of a squadron of French Rafale fighter jets and to the acquisition of missiles, torpedoes, missiles and various types of ammunition. The effort is for the 18 Rafale to be operational with the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) as soon as possible. It is still not clear how many of the French fighter jets will be new and how many straight from the ranks of the French Air Force. The training of pilots already familiar with the French Mirage jets it is estimated that it will take about six months. Athens is even discussing with Paris the possibility of acquiring some new Rafale built on behalf of a third country, e.g. of Egypt -if an agreement is reached- so that the program is implemented quickly, compared to the time usually required for the acquisition of warplanes. An island country like Greece must always maintain a powerful naval fleet as a guarantee of maintaining its territorial integrity. The Prime Minister has already given an order, according to information, for the start of an international tender for the supply of four frigates. The procedure will be open and before the shortlist is compiled, the French of Group Naval, as well as the interested Americans, British, Spaniards and Dutch who have recently undertaken the construction of frigates for the German Navy, will be able to submit bids.