Important statements were made by the Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos for the acquisition of 5th generation “Greek F-35’s” from the United States (USA) for Greece during the discussion in parliament on the country’s defence.
More Specifically, Nikos Panagiotopoulos answered a parliamentary question about the practicality of the purchase of 6 additional RAFALE fighter jets and stated:
Do you think that Hellenic Air Force General Staff is upset that we are getting six extra “Rafale”? And why is the explanation so insufficient that we did it, according to the suggestion of the Hellenic Air Force, as we follow the provisions of the new Force Structure, which plans on acquiring 40 new 4th – 5th generation fighters, of course! Until 2035.
For the rest, we will decide later. Do you want me to announce the acquisition of the F-35 fighter jets tomorrow? We want to say that all this is part of comprehensive and financial planning, carefully prioritized, and costed. We can not announce an armament every day.
Why such a reaction to the acquisition of the six “Rafale”? Do you feel that it is so bad that these six “Rafale”, that is, the last six until the number 24 is completed, that it is bad that they will come and be added to the availability of the Air Force three years before the completion of the upgrade program of 85 “Viper”;
We will have 24 “Rafale” fully available with their weapons and their subsequent support because in the context of the reform of the Legislation we provided, every time armaments come, the subsequent support contract will be voted together with the supply contract, so that we do not reach in the very unpleasant situation of having to vote for a support contract seven years after the expiration of the latter, as with the “Mirage 2000-5”.
So six more “Rafale” will come in 2024. The six have already arrived and by the end of the year, another six will have arrived. And as I like to say, they will cover the whole Aegean with their weapons and wings, and over those islands on which Turkey with its revisionist and provocative stance raises issues of demilitarization.
Let me say this once and from this step. I have said: “What is threatened is not demilitarized.” “These are words with a very clear meaning”, said in parts of his statements the Greek Defence Minister for RAFALE and F-35 fighter jets.
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