Twelve of the 18 Rafales to be procured by Greece will be former French Air Force aircraft. An initial six are expected to be operational by the end of 2021. (Dassault Aviation)
The Greek government’s Parliamentary Subcommittee for Defence Procurement agreed on 17 December to proceed with the acquisition of 18 Dassault Rafale multirole fighters for the Hellenic Air Force (HAF).
Although according to Greek law no vote was required for the decision, all political parties agreed that the aircraft were needed.
The total cost of the programme will be EUR1.92 billion (USD2.35 billion), according to Ministry of National Defence sources, while another EUR400 million will be used to purchase Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles and to upgrade missiles already in the HAF inventory (namely Mica air-to-air missiles, Scalp cruise missiles, and Exocet anti-ship missiles) for carriage by the Rafales. These missiles are currently used to arm the HAF’s Dassault Mirage 2000 and Mirage 2000-5 aircraft.
Twelve of the 18 Rafales (10 single seaters and two twin seaters) will be former French Air Force aircraft, with delivery of the first six expected to start six months after the signing of the contract, estimated to occur in June 2021. Deliveries will continue at a rate of one per month. On the 20th month after the handover of the initial six aircraft, the delivery of brand-new Rafales will begin and continue at a rate of one per month. Finally, 26 months after the contract is signed, delivery of the last six second-hand fighters will occur. The first four HAF pilots will start training in France early in 2021.