Greece has signed a contract for the acquisition of 18 Dassault Rafale fighter aircraft for the Hellenic Air Force, as well as a contract for the logistical support of the fleet.
The contracts were signed in Athens on Jan. 25 by Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation, and Theodoros Lagios, Director General of Armament and Investments of the Greek Ministry of Defense, in the presence of Mrs. Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces, and Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Greek Minister of National Defense.
The order for 18 Rafale includes 12 Rafale recently in service with the French Air and Space Force (Armée de l’Air et de l’Espace) and 6 new Rafale produced at Dassault Aviation plants. To meet the urgent need of the Greek authorities, the deliveries of aircraft will be begin in the summer of 2021 and will be spread over two years.
The logistic support contract will support the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) Rafale’s air activity over four and a half years, maintaining the availability of equipment and systems at the highest level.
The arrival of the Rafale in Greece highlights the quality of the strategic relationship between Greece and France and the continuation of more than forty-five years of solid partnership with Dassault Aviation and its industrial partners Thales and Safran.
Greece ordered 40 Mirage F1 fighter and attack aircraft from Dassault Aviation in 1974, then 40 Mirage 2000 fighter jets in 1985 and finally 15 Mirage 2000-5 jets in the year 2000; this latest contract also includes the modernization of 10 Mirage 2000 to the 2000-5 standard with a large contribution from Greek industry.
“Greece is a leading European partner, a major member of NATO and a special partner of France, with which Dassault Aviation has stood steadfastly by its side for more than 45 years. The continuity of our presence in Greece, even in the most difficult times, is a token of the quality of this relationship. That is why I am proud and happy to sign today this contract, which symbolizes the extension of the commitment of Dassault Aviation towards Greece since 1974. I would like to thank the Greek authorities for their renewed confidence in us. I assure them of our total mobilization to achieve the objectives that are defined”, said Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation.
Dassault Rafale is a twin-engine, canard delta wing, multirole fighter aircraft designed and built by France’s Dassault Aviation.
Rafale is capable of performing air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and nuclear deterrence missions. The aircraft is referred to as an “omnirole” aircraft by Dassault.
The fighter is equipped with the RBE2 AA active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar and the OSF (Optronique Secteur Frontal) infra-red search and track (IRST) system.
The Rafale carries a 30 mm GIAT 30 DEFA cannon and can be armed with SCALP EG cruise missiles, MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAMs) and AM39 Exocet sea-skimming anti-ship missiles (AShMs). The ones used by the French military are capable of conducting nuclear strikes when armed with the ASMP-A missiles.
The aircraft is available in three main variants: Rafale C single-seat land-based version, Rafale B twin-seat land-based version, and Rafale M single-seat carrier-based version. Export variants have different designations.
Introduced in 2001, the Rafale is being produced for both the French Air Force and the French Navy. The Rafale has been marketed for export to several countries, and is now operated by the Indian Air Force (IAF), the Egyptian Air Force (EAF), and the Qatar Emiri Air Force (QEAF).
India is the newest operator of the jet with the ceremonial induction taking place at Air Force Station Ambala on Sept. 10.