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Deepening                                                                                              [ COVER  STORY ]


         IN THE WAKE OF THE CRISIS WITH TURKEY,                        naval stand-off with Turkey over natural gas
         GREECE IS RAMPING UP MILITARY COOPERATION                     drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean.
         WITH SEVERAL NATO ALLIES, ISRAEL, SAUDI                       Though  under  pressure  from  NATO  allies,
         ARABIA, THE UAE AND INDIA                                     Greece and Turkey resumed diplomatic talks in
                                                                       January to ease the tension, Athens is pressing
           Jay Menon                                                   ahead with the accelerated military upgrade
                                                                       programme worth 11.5 billion euros over the
                                                                       next five years.
         Faced with an increasingly confrontational situation with neigh-
         bouring Turkey in the Aegean and Mediterranean Seas, Greece   The air force has already begun overhauling its
         has embarked  on an upgrade programme of the Hellenic Armed   fleet of U.S.-made F-16 fighters and has placed
         Forces, and strategic partnerships with friendly nations.     a 2.3 billion-euro order to buy 18 French-made
                                                                       Rafale fighter jets, some currently in service
         Last September, almost a decade after the country’s sovereign debt   with the France's military, along with an upgrade
         crisis put military modernization on hold, Prime Minister Kyriakos   of compatible missiles.
         Mitsotakis announced a major re-armament program following a
                                                                       “The contract, signed in January this year,
                                                                       included 12 used Rafale jets of the French Air
                                                                       Force and six new ones, all to the F3R standard,
                                                                       as well as an array of weapons that include
                                                                       Exocet anti-ship missiles and SCALP cruise
                                                                       missiles. The contract was estimated at €1.92
                                                                       billion for the aircraft, with an additional €400
                                                                       million for their weapons,” according to an Air
                                                                       Force official.

                                                                       The first six fighters, taken from the inventory
                                                                       of the French Air Force, should arrive in Greece
                                                                       as early as July 2021. The rest of the order
                                                                       will be delivered in two instalments of six in
                                                                       2022 and 2023. “To meet the urgent need of
                                                                       the Greek authorities, the deliveries of aircraft
                                                                       will be begin in the summer of 2021 and will be
                                                                       spread over two years,” confirms Eric Trappier,
                                                                       Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.

        ASIAN DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY                                                                  June/July 2021 | 5
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