A team from the French munitions manufacturer, MBDA is expected in Athens on September 3 to discuss the supply of missiles and other munitions for the proposed Rafale fighter jets that Greece is likely to purchase.
The discussions would center on the prospect of acquiring state-of-the-art missiles such as Meteor, Mica NG and SCALP. In addition, there is also talk of Greece purchasing ASTER missiles for warships that Greece intends to buy from France.
The Greek defence procurement agency, GDAEE is preparing the necessary introductory note to the Minister of Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos on the acquisition of some 18-20 Dassault Rafale jets to arm one squadron, Greek publication Pentapostagma reported.
The GDAEE initiative launches the necessary procedures in order for the program to be wetted by appropriate institutions such as the Supreme Aviation Council, Council of Chiefs of General Staff and then the Greek Parliament to a proposed agreement between Greece and France over the jets purchase.
A section of the Greek media reported that an agreement to purchase Rafale jets and French frigates is likely to be signed on September 10 between French President Macron and Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis. However, there was no information on this from the French side.
Greek media reports also said that the cost for Rafale will be kept at an extremely low level of around 1 billion Euros with acquisition prices commensurate with those supplied by the French Air Force. The reports also said that some 10 jets would be given away for ‘free.’
However this does not ring true as France has never discounted the price of the Rafale aircraft beyond a point and certainly has not given away any aircraft for free. The Rafale jets are in short supply and currently Dassault is hard pressed to fulfill orders from Egypt, India and Qatar in addition to that of the French Air Force - Ed Comment.
The introduction of the fully equipped Rafale would help the Greek air force to confront Turkey’s air and naval force that is protecting its hydrocarbon prospecting vessels in the Eastern Mediterranean.