Greece to take over F-35As initially intended for Turkey

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on 27 Oct. that Greece will take different measures regarding the defense of its national territory, air space and territorial waters. The purchase of 20 F-35A stealth fighters initially intended for the Turkish Air Force is part of the program.

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Greece to take over F 35As initially destined to Turkey

May 2018. First flight of the first F-35A Lightning II originally manufactured for the Turkish Air Force (Picture source: Lockheed Martin)

Greece will take additional measures to further prevent illegal immigration, for the further defensive shielding of its Aegean islands with new missile systems, to strengthen the defense in the Aegean and Thrace, on land, air and sea.

In addition to the protection of its borders in terms of personnel, Greece is proceeding at a rapid pace within 2021 and 2022 to the strengthening of its Armed Forces with equipment. During U.S. State Secreary Mike Pompeo's recent visit, the supply of 20 Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II fighters was launched, 6 of which will be purchased on smart loan in 2012 and together with the first 6 MBDA Rafale fighters will be the firepower of the Greek Air Force. The F-35As were initially intended for the Turkish Air Force, a program the U.S. scrapped following the purchase of Russian-made S-400 Triumf air defense systems by Turkey.

Moreover, the U.S are reportedly considering the possible transfer of its Turkish air base of Incirlik to Crete, the Greek newspaper Estia reports in its 28 Octobre edition. The issue is described as "early" but is already being formally discussed in the U.S. Senate. In a few days, the annual defense agreement between Greece and the USA will also expire. The Government will propose to the Parliament its five-year extension.

In addition, the new Greek armament program includes the purchase of Spike antitank missiles from Israel along with drones and anti-drones, as well as the construction of four frigates and possibly the activation of the option for the construction of 2 new 214 submarines from Germany, Estia concludes.