On the 25th of January Theodoros Lagios, the director general of armaments and investments at the Greek Ministry of Defense, and Eric Trappier, chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, the aircraft manufacturer, signed a contract worth €2.5 billion for 12 second-hand Rafale aircrafts, which will be taken out of the French Air Force inventory, and six new ones. The defence ministers of both countries were present in Athens to celebrate this new deal.
The France defence minister Florence Parly remarked how pleased she was that Greece had made a “resolutely European choice” by opting for the French-made aircraft. This deal between France and Greece strengthen even more the special partnership between the two countries as military cooperation in the Mediterranean grew in recent years.
The new warplane deal seems to be part in a bigger coherent a response to Turkish challenges in the eastern Mediterranean. Last September, Greece also announced a ‘’robust’’ upgrade to the country’s armed forces. The program includes amongst others multi-purpose frigates, four navy helicopters, anti-tank weapons, navy torpedoes, air force missiles and 15,000 additional troops by 2025.
As France strongly backs Greece showdown with Turkey, Parly said that France would soon make “proposals to renew Greece’s fleet of frigates”. France itself will also be getting 12 new Rafales to replace those being removed from its inventory.