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Greece has announced major arms purchases with “six emblematic decisions that multiply the power, functionality and effectiveness of Greek weapons,” in the words of Prime Minister K.Mitsotakis. These decisions include:

  1. The Hellenic Air Force will immediately acquire a squadron of 18 RAFALE fighter jets that will replace older MIRAGE 2000 fighters. The Greek PM said these are fourth generation superior aircraft that “strengthen Greek deterrent power in combination with the modernised F-16.”
  2. The Hellenic Navy is launching the process for the procurement of four new multi-role frigates, while at the same time, it will modernise and upgrade four existing MEKO combatants. As a result, several countries are looking at the tender for their own industry, while the new ships will also be accompanied by four MH-60R naval helicopters.
  3. The arsenal of the three branches is being enriched as a whole. New anti-tank weapons are being provided to the Army, new heavy-duty torpedoes for the Navy and new guided missiles for the Air Force. The doctrine is every weapon system will be active throughout its lifespan.
  4. Mr. Mitsotakis also announced the recruitment of 15,000 men and women for an initial five-year period and at the same time, the whole framework of military service and training is being re-evaluated, so that recruits can acquire certified skills for free.
  5. The re-activation of the Greek defence industry was also announced. Already in the Elefsina shipyards, American funds are being invested in their modernisationation and a strategic investor will soon enter the Scaramanga shipyards. Also, the privatisation of ELVO – Hellenic Vehicle Industry SA will be completed in the immediate future and the Hellenic Aerospace Industry has been reorganised into an aircraft maintenance centre for the wider area.
  6. The Armed Forces are enhancing their digital operations, as well as their protection against hybrid-type cyber-attacks. At each of their operational levels, modern systems are installed that ensure a secure flow of information and therefore timely mobilization.

During high tides on geopolitical level in the broader MENA Region, discourse on security and defence has become much more intense. Greece itself is bouncing back from the Euro-crisis and after a full decade of fiscal stagnation is investing in defence and preparing a multi-year armament programme.

Jack Richardson