Page 7 - ADT JUNE - JULY 2021 Online Magazine
P. 7

Senator Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of
                                                                       the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
                                                                       The bipartisan legislation boosts support for
                                                                       Greece’s military modernisation by authorising
                                                                       new transfers of American military equipment
                                                                       and fostering increased multilateral engage-
                                                                       ment among Cyprus, Greece, Israel, and the   [ COVER  STORY ]
                                                                       United States. The legislation authorises expe-
                                                                       dited delivery of any future F-35 aircraft ordered
                                                                       by Athens and delivery of excess defence arti-
                                                                       cles to Greece.

                                                                       “AS A RELIABLE NATO ALLY,
                                                                       GREECE PLAYS A CRITICAL ROLE
                                                                       IN PROMOTING SECURITY AND
                                                                       STABILITY IN THE EASTERN
                                                                       MEDITERRANEAN,” Senator Bob
        Greek Ministry of Defense, during the meeting, a proposal to further   Menendez (D-N.J.), Chairman of the Senate
        examine the evaluation capabilities for the acquisition of frigates   Foreign Relations Committee
        from France, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, the United Kingdom
        and the United States were accepted. France has offered to give  “IN ORDER TO ENSURE THAT

        the Greek navy two first-class frigates, the “Jean Bart” (anti-aircraft   THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
        warfare) and the “Latouche-Tréville” (anti-submarine warfare) free   REMAINS SECURE, THE US
        of charge, La Tribune reported.
                                                                       MUST BOLSTER ITS DEFENCE
        The French Navy will hand over these two vessels if Athens chooses  RELATIONSHIP WITH GREECE BY
        France through its international call for tenders to build new frigates   SUPPORTING GREECE’S EFFORTS TO
        for the Greek Navy.                                            MODERNISE ITS ARMED FORCES.”

        The U.S. Connection
         The U.S. sees Greece as a pillar of stability in the region and is   Reports emerged in April 2019 that Greece
        therefore committed to deepening defence cooperation.          was weighing a potential acquisition of up to
                                                                       30 Lockheed Martin F-35s as a replacement
        “Greece has invested over US$1 billion in U.S. Navy equipment and   for  the  oldest  F-16C/Ds  in  the  Hellenic  Air
        capabilities, including upgraded P-3Bs and the MH-60R. The U.S.   Force’s inventory. Prime Minister Mitsotakis
        Navy’s proposal for the Hellenic Future Frigate, which is backed by   reiterated this interest during a visit with then
        a government-to-government agreement, will capitalize on Greece’s   U.S.  President  Donald  Trump  at  the  White
        current defence investments, and ensure the most advanced mar-  House back in January 2019, and then Defense
        itime capability in the region,” says Navy Capt. Tim Ketter, a senior   Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos announced
        defence official for the U.S. in Greece.                       shortly thereafter plans to acquire 24 F-35s at
                                                                       the cost of US$3 billion. That supposed acqui-
        U.S.-based Lockheed Martin will be entering a competitive contest   sition would parallel the ongoing modernization
        for the frigate programme. Lockheed is also proposing upgrades   of 85 fighters in the Hellenic Air Force’ F-16 fleet
        to the Hellenic Navy Hydra-class frigates with a combat system   to the F-16V Viper (Block 70/72) variant.
        derived from the Aegis Combat System. According to this proposal,
        the first HFF-type (Hellenic Navy Future Frigate) will be built at the   The U.S and Greece also conducted bilateral
        Italian shipyard of Fincantieri by Lockheed Martin.            military exercise christened “Poseidon’s Rage,”
                                                                       with the participation of defence forces from
        Greece has already purchased Lockheed MH-60R multi-mission     both the countries.
        helicopters, which would be easily compatible with the Component-
        Based Total-Ship System – 21st Century (COMBATSS-21) combat  Partnership Expansion
        system. In June, a bill to strengthen the military alliance between  Greece is not limited to its traditional allies
        the U.S. and Greece, with America helping Greece improve its  and partners, like Europe and the USA, which
        military with new technology and equipment was introduced in  clearly play a major role because of their polit-
        the U.S. Senate.                                               ical and economic weight.

        Titled “U.S.-Greece Defense and Inter-parliamentary Partnership  Recently, Israel and Greece signed their big-
        Act of 2021”, it was initiated by Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and  gest ever defence procurement deal, which

        ASIAN DEFENCE TECHNOLOGY                                                                  June/July 2021 | 7
   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12