Greece announced €10 billion military modernization plans

French President Emmanuel Macron, pictured with Mitsotakis, has supported Greece in the row with Turkey AFP/Ludovic Marin

Greece plans to arm very heavily and it will spend more than 10 billion in the next 5 years to strengthen its military.

What appears to be Greece’s most ambitious military overhaul in nearly two decades was unveiled as it is engaged in a growing standoff with Turkey over hydrocarbon resources and naval influence in the waters off their coasts.

According to the first phase of the plan, the government will spend 1.5 billion dollars in spare parts.

Rafale Fighter Jet

France will provide 18 Rafale and four Frigates from increasing defence expenditures of the Greek government. Dassault Aviation will also modernize 44 Mirage 2000 fighters for €1 billion euros to re-operate them.

Hellenic Air For will acquire 18 new Rafale jets over the next year with another 8 used Rafaele jets to be transfered to Hellenic Air Force.

On September 10th, Macron and the Greek prime minister signed a defense cooperation agreement in Athens.

Hellenic Navy will purchase four Sikorksy MH-60R Sea hawk helicopters.

The Royal Australian Navy’s MH-60R Romeo helicopter conducts functional testing of the newly fitted Airborne Low Frequency Sonar System (ALFS) off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida.

Lockheed Martin will modernize Greece 85 of its F-16 fighter jets with latest generation Block 70 level. Also Greece is seeking to purchase new F-35 fighter jets.

MEKO-Class Frigate

Modernisation of Meko 200 frigates and acquire four new frigates for €2.5 billion. Greece also buying of new Puma helicopters for Hellenic Navy.

Greek started modernizing German-made Type 214 submarines and acquiring new torpedoes.

Greece is seeking to purchase Type -23 frigates from Britain.

Israel’s Saar 72

Greek Onex shipyard has signed a cooperation deal to manufacture Themistocles class corvettes based on Israel’s Saar 72.

Recent tensions with Turkey forced Greece to strengthen its military from European and American weaponry.

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Mitsotakis is believed to have hammered out the programme after talks with French President Emmanuel Macron during a southern European leaders summit in Corsica this week.

In contrast to other EU and NATO allies, France has strongly backed Greece in its burgeoning showdown with Turkey, as well as Cyprus.

Macron has told his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan not to cross “red lines” and has sent warships and fighter jets to the region.

Turkey in August sent an exploration ship and a small navy flotilla to conduct seismic research in disputed waters that Greece considers its own. Turkey says it has equal rights to the resources in those waters.

Greece responded by shadowing the Turkish flotilla with its warships, and by staging naval exercises with several European Union allies and the United Arab Emirates in its show of force.

Turkey “threatens” Europe’s eastern border and “undermines” regional security, Mitsotakis said on Saturday.

Greek and French vessels sail in formation during a joint military exercise in the Mediterranean sea, in this undated handout image obtained by Reuters on August 13, 2020 [Reuters]

On Friday, Macron said Europe needed to be “clear and firm” with Erdogan’s government over its actions. France and Turkey have also been at odds recently over an arms embargo on Libya.

EU diplomatic chief Josep Borrell has said that unless Turkey can be engaged in talks, the bloc could develop a list of sanctions at a European summit on September 24 and 25.

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