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Greece Adds Six Further Rafale Fighters

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Greece intends to buy six more multi-role Dassault Rafale fighters, adding 18 it has already ordered. The recharge purchase was announced by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis during a national televised speech at the Thessaloniki Industrial Fair on September 11th. The intention was also confirmed on social media by French Defense Minister Florence Parly.

During a period of heightened tension with its neighbor Turkey, Greece signed a contract with France on January 25th covering the rapid distribution of 12 Rafales from shares of Arme de l’Air et de l’Espace (AAE), plus six aircraft young build. The first of the former French Air Force aircraft was handed over to the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) on July 21, with initial deliveries temporarily held in France for training.

Mitsotakis said Rafale would fly to Greece before the end of the year. It is not yet clear whether the additional aircraft will be newly built or withdrawn from the AAE inventory. Within days of the initial contract, Parly announced a French order for 12 new Rafales built to replace those diverted to Greece.

Raising the total number of Rafales to be taken by Greece to 24 allows the HAF to replace the first living generation of the Dassault Mirage 2000 on a larger-than-one basis, thus restoring the 114 Pteriga Maxis (combat arm) ) in Tanagra in full nominal size of 48 aircraft. Thirty-six Dassault Mirage 2000EG single-seater and four 2000BG two-seater were commissioned in 1985, and were delivered by 1989. In the 1990s they were upgraded to 2000EGM / BGM status with improved radar and the ability to fire against Exocet missile ships.

In 2000 HAF ordered the 15th generation of the 2000-5 variant with RDY-3 radar and Mica missiles, while upgrading 10 of the EGM versions to a similar standard. One plane was lost in a 2018 crash and 24 survivors are assigned to 331 Mira within 114pm. About 17 first-generation aircraft survive to fly 332 Miras at the same base. In addition to holding the Mirage training, 114 PM is also responsible for maintaining a combat detachment on the Aegean island of Skyros.

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