Aerial Warfare

US State Department Approves Sale of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Greece


US State Department Approves Sale of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Greece

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US State Department Approves Sale of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Greece
US State Department Approves Sale of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter to Greece

The U.S. State Department has made a determination approving a possible Foreign Military Sale to the Government of Greece of F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft and related equipment for an estimated cost of $8.6 billion. The Government of Greece has requested to buy up to forty (40) F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Conventional Take Off and Landing (CTOL) aircraft; and forty-two (42) Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines (40 installed, 2 spares). The proposed sale will allow Greece to modernize its air force and improve Greece’s ability to provide for the defense of its airspace, contribute to NATO missions to preserve regional security and defend NATO Allies, and maintain interoperability with U.S. and NATO forces. The F-35 will offset the increasing obsolescence of other Hellenic Air Force aircraft such as the F-4 and Mirage 2000. Greece will have no difficulty absorbing these articles and services into its armed forces. The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region. The principal contractors will be Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company, Fort Worth, TX, and Pratt & Whitney Military Engines, East Hartford, CT.

Also included are AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loaders; KGV-135A embedded secure communications devices; Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD); impulse cartridges, chaff, and flares; Full Mission Simulators and system trainers; electronic warfare systems and Reprogramming Lab support; logistics management and support systems; threat detection, tracking, and targeting systems; Contractor Logistics Support (CLS); classified software and software development, delivery and integration support; transportation, ferry, and refueling support; weapons containers; aircraft and munitions support and support equipment; integration and test support and equipment; aircraft engine component improvement program (CIP) support; secure communications, precision navigation, and cryptographic systems and equipment; Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment; spare and repair parts, consumables, and accessories, and repair and return support; minor modifications, maintenance, and maintenance support; personnel training and training equipment; classified and unclassified publications and technical documents; and other related elements of logistics and program support.

Lockheed Martin offered the F-35 to Greece’s Hellenic Air Force as a replacement for F-4E Peace Icarus 2000 and F-16C/D Block 30 aircraft in 2009. As of October 2017, largely due to the Greek government-debt crisis, Greece has decided to upgrade the Hellenic Air Force’s fleet of ageing General Dynamics F-16 Fighting Falcon aircraft, and to postpone a decision on further procurement until the 2020s. The F-35 was reportedly still on the table, and if economically viable by the 2020 timeframe, plans call for a purchase of 15 to 20 aircraft. In April 2019, U.S. Vice Admiral and head of the Pentagon’s F-35 office Mathias Winter submitted a written testimony to the U.S. House of Representatives in which Greece was identified as a “future potential Foreign Military Sales customer.[348] Later the same day, Greek defense minister Evangelos Apostolakis stated that Greece would consider the possibility of acquiring the F-35 as part of its efforts to upgrade the Hellenic Air Force fleet. In January 2020, Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited Donald Trump in the White House and discussed Greece’s interest in the F-35.

Greece’s Minister for National Defence Nikos Panagiotopoulos announced that, alongside upgrading Greece’s fleet of F-16s, Greece is looking to procure 24 F-35 aircraft at an estimated cost of US$3 billion. On October 10, 2021, the Greek Minister of Defense, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, stated that “The requirement of the Greek Armed Forces to adequately cover the Defense needs of the country is for 48 new-gen aircraft, as well as for 12 to 13 frigates with maybe some corvettes. Sources claim that the requirement for 48 aircraft may not include the recently acquired 24 Rafales. Then on November 20, 2021, he directly addressed the potential acquisition of the F-35. On 30 June 2022, Greece’s prime minister confirmed that the country has sent a request to the U.S. for the purchase of 20 F-35s, with the option of buying a second group of jets also being examined. The expected delivery date is 2027-2028. On 27 January 2024, the US State Department formally approved Greece’s request for sale of up to 40 conventional variants for $8.6 billion.

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