Greek lawmakers have approved a $14 billion five-year military modernization plan including purchase of Rafale jets, first of which it would receive around mid-2021.
Athens is expected to sign the $3.04 billion deal for Rafale jets with French manufacturer Dassault Aviation later this month. It would cover delivery of 12 jets previously used by the French Air Force and 6 new ones.
A dozen of the ordered fighters for the Hellenic Air Force would reportedly be upgraded to the latest F3R standard featuring Talios (TArgeting Long-range Identification Optronic System) new-generation laser designator pod.
First of the ordered jets would arrive in the country in the first half of this year while the remaining will be delivered over the next two years.
In September, a team from French MBDA reportedly went to Greece to discuss the supply of missiles and other munitions for the Rafales. The fighter can be armed with state-of-the-art missiles such as Meteor, Mica NG and SCALP.
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.
Under its modernization plan, Greece wants to buy new helicopters, drones, frigates and upgrade its existing F-16 fighters.