Reports: Greece conveys a Letter of Request to US for squadron F-35s

Monday, 16 November 2020 22:55
REUTERS/Axel Schmidt
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Greece's national defense ministry has reportedly conveyed a Letter of Request (LOR), dated Nov. 6, to the US administration requesting the purchase of a squadron (18 to 24) of US-made F-35 fighter planes.

The development comes after Athens recently announced that it would proceed with the procurement of French-made Rafales.

Interest in the fifth-generation fighter produced by Lockheed Martin peaked after Turkey was excluded from acquiring the F-35, when it proceeded with buying and fielding the Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft missile system.

As with the Rafale deal, Athens is interested in both brand new and slightly used aircraft, with the exact ratio not announced.

At the same time, Athens wants a half-dozen of the state-of-the-art warplanes operational under its colors in 2021.

The emphasis on boosting advanced military capability comes amid unprecedented provocations and outright warmongering on the part of the increasingly bellicose Erdogan administration in Turkey.

Greece is also closely considering the purchase of least four US-designed MMSC frigates, with the prospect of some - if not all of the warships - being launched by Greek shipyards. 

The military upgrade is also linked with a very high-profile visit by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the UAE on Tuesday for the signing of two bilateral agreements: one touching on the defense sector and foreign policy, and another for boosting strategic bilateral ties.  

On the agenda of talks, according to reports, is the prospect of the UAE also participating in current trilateral engagements that Athens has commenced with Israel, Egypt and Israel.


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