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Greece signs for additional Rafales

One of the six Rafales from the first batch handed over to Greece in January. The HAF is to receive 24 such aircraft following the latest contract awarded on 24 March. (French Embassy in Athens)

Greece has signed for additional Dassault Rafale combat aircraft from France, with both countries' defence ministers sealing the earlier announced order on 24 March.

Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Greek Minister of National Defence, and Florence Parly, French Minister of the Armed Forces, signed a contract for six new Rafales for Greece, adding to the 18 ordered to bring the Hellenic Air Force's (HAF's) fleet up to 24 aircraft.

The contract finalises the announcement for the new fighters made in September 2021 by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

The first 18 Rafales for the HAF comprise 12 surplus French Air and Space Force twin- and single-seat aircraft and six newbuild aircraft. It has not been disclosed whether the latest aircraft will be surplus or newbuild. It is known that Greece's Rafales will be delivered at the F3R standard that has been developed by Dassault Aviation, Thales, MBDA, and Safran. It comprises major software and hardware upgrades that include the integration of the Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missile and the latest laser-guided version of the Sagem Armement Air-Sol Modulaire modular air-to-ground precision weapon, the Thales RBE2 active electronically scanned array radar, the Thales TALIOS long-range airborne targeting pod, an automatic ground collision avoidance system, an improved buddy-buddy refuelling pod, and the Spectra electronic warfare system. The latest version of the Rafale will continue to carry the enhanced medium-range, air-to-ground missile as part of airborne nuclear deterrence missions.

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