‘Greece looking for ways to join F-35 fighter jet program’
Yorgo Kırbaki – ATHENS
Greece has sent a letter of request to the U.S. to purchase 20 F-35 fighter jets, U.S.-based defense website has alleged.
According to DefenseNews, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis visited the White House and Congress this week to acquire F-35 fighter jets and lobbied against Türkiye’s attempts of upgrading its fleet of F-16s and acquiring additional aircraft.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos tested the waters for Greece to be included in the joint F-35 fighter jet program during his meetings with his counterpart, Lloyd Austin, and the director of the Pentagon’s F-35 Joint Program Office, Sean Burke.
DefenseNews also pointed out that for Greece to be included in the joint production program, which includes eight countries other than the U.S., it must buy shares first.
The cost of 20 F-35 fighter jets, which will start to be delivered from 2028, is over $3 billion.
During Mitsotakis’ visit to the United States in May, including Greece in the co-production program was brought to the agenda.
However, the Greek press said that the Greek Air Force did not have sufficient infrastructure for production.
Türkiye’s requested to the U.S. for the supply of F-16s after it was expelled from the joint F-35 fighter jet program on the grounds of deployment of S-400 air defense systems from Russia.
The Biden administration endorsed the demand, stressing that it would be required to keep NATO’s southern flank militarily intact and strong.