Greece buys 18 Dassault Rafale fighters for USD 2.5 billion

Greece signed a EUR 2.3 billion ($2.8 billion) deal with France on January 25 to purchase 18 Dassault Rafale fighter jets. Florence Parly, the French Defense minister, signed the agreement in Athens to obtain 12 used and 6 new to be delivered over two years, starting in July 2021. A second contract was signed for the logistical support of the aircraft during four and a half years.

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Greece buys 18 Dassault Rafale fighters for USD 2.5 billion Greece has bought 18 Rafale fighters: 12 used and 6 new (Picture source: C. Cosmao / Dassault Aviation)

Six of the second-hand aircraft will be delivered at a rate of one a month starting this July, with the six new aircraft delivered in spring 2022 and the last six used aircraft delivered in early 2023. Florence Parly said how pleased she was that Greece had made a “resolutely European choice” by opting for the French-made aircraft, so becoming Dassault’s first European export customer.

France has sided with Greece in a dispute over boundaries in the Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean that has brought NATO members Greece and Turkey to the brink of war several times in recent decades. Greece will continue a multibillion-euro program to upgrade its armed forces following years of cuts because of the country’s financial crisis. The programme includes four multi-purpose frigates, four navy helicopters, anti-tank weapons, navy torpedoes, airforce missiles and the recruitment of 15,000 additional troops by 2025.

Greece buys 18 Dassault Rafale fighters for USD 2.8 billion 2

Greek Defense minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos and French Defence minister Florence Parly exchange a COVID-friendly handshake in Athens at the Jan. 25, 2021, signing ceremony for a $2.5 billion contract covering 18 Rafale fighter jets for Greece (Picture source: French MoD)