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Greece to acquire additional Rafale combat aircraft

Greece will now receive 24 Rafale combat aircraft from France, with an additional six aircraft announced by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. (Dassault)

Greece is to acquire additional Dassault Rafale combat aircraft, with the country's prime minister saying that a further six will be received in addition to the 18 already ordered.

Speaking at the Thessaloniki International Fair on 11 September, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the procurement.

News of the purchase came approximately two months after the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) received its first Rafale from France during a formal handover ceremony at the Dassault Aviation Flight Test Centre on 21 July. Eight months later, the Greek and French governments signed a EUR1.92 billion (USD2.35 billion) contract for the initial 18 jets.

The first 18 Rafales comprise 12 surplus French Air and Space Force twin- and single-seat aircraft and six new-build aircraft. Mitsotakis did not disclose whether the latest aircraft will be surplus or new-build.

Greece's Rafales will be delivered at the current 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 electronic 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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