Greek Minister of Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos spoke about the new structure of the Hellenic Armed Forces, making statements about the new armament programs during his speech in Greek Parliament on Thursday that may involve the acquisition of F-35s & Gowind corvettes after completing the Belharra frigate deal.
“According to the new Force Structure 2020-2025, which we discussed at the end of last year, according to the recommendations of the General Staffs and according to the National Medium-Term Defense Equipment Program of the current period, in terms of the financial part and that of financial planning.
The requirement of the Greek Armed Forces to adequately cover the Defense needs of the country is for 48 new-gen aircraft, as well as for 12 to 13 Frigates with maybe some Corvettes” said the Greek Minister of Defense during his speech.
NEW FIGHTER JETS
Greek Minister of Defense statement concerning the 48 new-generation aircrafts does not necessarily describe an additional RAFALE supply to the 24 that Greece has already ordered.
Greece has already officially expressed interest in acquiring Lockheed Martin’s 5th generation F-35 fighter jets, something that seems quite likely to happen by 2023 so that the first arrivals will start at the end of the decade to replace the F-4 Phantoms of the Hellenic Air Force.
The statement of the Greek Minister confirms the information about the possible acquisition of corvettes but also leaves room for a potential change in strategy that may result in replacing the option for corvettes with more frigates.
This thought that we have on GEOPOLITIKI is reinforced by the interview of the Minister of Defense in the Greek newspaper “TA NEA”: “The purchase of corvettes as an alternative to the purchase of the fourth frigate will concern us in the future, but not now”
The statements of the Minister of Defence are supplemented by the statements of the Greek Prime Minister who said:
“After the 24 Rafale of the Air Force, with the new Partnership Greece – France our fleet is strengthened with three state-of-the-art Belharra frigates, with also open prospect for new corvettes”
The statement of Greek PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis does not indicate a certain signature for the purchase of French corvettes as it was done with the Belharra Frigates.
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