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Greece to consolidate fighter types under ‘radical' reform of air force

With many older aircraft coming to the end of their service lives, such as the F-4E Phantom II pictured, the Hellenic Air Force is to consolidate its combat types under plans announced by the country's defence minister. (Janes/Jamie Hunter)

Greece is to retire and sell off many of its older combat aircraft types under a “radical overhaul” of the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) announced by the government on 25 March.

Speaking on national media to mark Greece's Independence Day, Defence Minister Nikos Dendias said that the number of combat aircraft types operated by the HAF is not economically sustainable, and that a consolidation is needed.

“We need to make some very radical changes in the weapons systems [operated by the HAF], … everything needs to change,” Dendias said.

With the HAF now receiving into service upgraded Lockheed Martin F-16V Fighting Falcon jets and new Dassault Rafales, as well as the Lockheed Martin F-35A Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) it is expected to shortly sign for, the service will have to sell off several older types.

“We have a cartload of different types of aircraft. We have [McDonnell Douglas] F-4s, [Dassault] Mirage 2000-5s, [Lockheed Martin] Block 30 F-16s, Block 50 F-16s, Block 52 F-16s, Viper F-16s [F-16Vs] and Rafales. We cannot carry on this way,” the minister said. “The F-4s need to be retired and, if possible, sold. The Mirage 2000-5 is an exceptionally capable plane and can be sold. The Block 30 F-16s need to be sold. And I think we will be able to sell the [Mirage 2000-5 and Block 30 F-16s],” the minister added.

According to Janes World Air Forces

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