Athens, Greece – Greece, which is in a difficult position against Turkey in the tension in the eastern Mediterranean, is taking a new step in the arms race. It was officially announced that the Greek administration had applied to the United States for 24 F-35 fighter jets.
Greece plans to buy F-35 fighter jets from the United States to get ahead of Turkey in the Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean.
Greece, which announced one of the largest armament programs in the country’s history in September, has now announced an application to the United States for 24 F-35 fighter jets.
An official application has been made to the United States for the purchase of F-35 aircraft, state television ERT reported, citing Greek Defence Ministry sources.
ERT noted that with the purchase of F-35s, Greece aims to gain an advantage over Turkey in the Aegean.
As part of the huge defense programme announced by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in September, 18 Rafale fighter jets are also planned to be bought from France.
As part of the Program, it was reported that four new frigates will be purchased, four existing frigates will be modernized, four Navy helicopters, as well as land-to-air missiles, torpedoes for the Navy and guided missiles for aircraft will also be included in the inventory.
Mitsotakis said 12 of the 18 Rafale fighter jets planned to be purchased would be second-hand, with the first aircraft expected to be delivered in 2021.
The frigates are expected to be delivered within a decade. The Greek government also envisions the recruitment of 15 thousand professional soldiers who serve full-time over a five-year period.
Although the Greek government declined to give figures on the cost of the program, various media outlets reported that the amount of defense purchases would be $ 10 billion.
Turkey, which is one of the partners of the F-35 fighter jet project, was excluded from the F-400 program by the United States after the crisis due to the S-35 air defense systems.
In September, the US Department of Defense (Pentagon) announced that it would purchase eight F-35 fighter jets produced for Turkey.