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U.S. State Department Approves F-35 Sale To Greece

F-35 Greece
File photo of an F-35A with a Greek outline (Image credit: The Aviationist)

Greece might receive up to 40 F-35 jets for an estimated cost of 8.6B USD.

The U.S. State Department has approved the Foreign Military Sale (FMS) to Greece for up to 40 F-35A 5th gen. fighter jets along with 42 Pratt & Whitney F135-PW-100 engines (40 installed and 2 spares), for an estimated cost of 8.6 billion USD. The United States Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) notified the Congress of the possible sale on Jan. 26, 2024.

According to the statement released by DSCA, the package also includes “AN/PYQ-10 Simple Key Loaders; KGV-135A embedded secure communications devices; Cartridge Actuated Devices/Propellant Actuated Devices (CAD/PAD); impulse cartridges, chaff, and flares; Full Mission Simulators and system trainers; electronic warfare systems and Reprogramming Lab support; logistics management and support systems; threat detection, tracking, and targeting systems; Contractor Logistics Support (CLS); classified software and software development, delivery and integration support; transportation, ferry, and refueling support; weapons containers; aircraft and munitions support and support equipment; integration and test support and equipment; aircraft engine component improvement program (CIP) support; secure communications, precision navigation, and cryptographic systems and equipment; Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) equipment; spare and repair parts, consumables, and accessories, and repair and return support; minor modifications, maintenance, and maintenance support; personnel training and training equipment; classified and unclassified publications and technical documents; warranties; and U.S. Government and engineering, technical, and logistics support services, studies, and surveys; and other related elements of logistics and program support.”

Noteworthy, the FMS does not mention any air-to-air nor air-to-surface weapons; however, considering that the figures of the Greek package (8.6B for up to 40 F-35As) are similar to those of the German one (8.3B for 35 F-35As) with the latter including also several different types of missiles and PGMs (Precision Guided Munitions), it’s safe to believe some kind of armament will also be part of the deal.

While the Hellenic Air Force will eventually be able to operate “up to 40 F-35A” the procurement might be split into two tranches: according to Greek sources, the first batch should include 20 jets with an optional second batch of 20 more jets.

The Greek government had officially requested an urgent purchase of Lockheed Martin F-35 Lightning II fifth generation aircraft for the Hellenic Air Force with a formal Letter of Request (LOR) to the U.S. Department of Defense on November 6, 2020.

The F-35 procurement is going to be the Hellenic Air Force’s largest investment programs ever; and one of the many acquisition programs that Athens has launched in the last few years to modernize its military.

Along with the F-35s, Greece has also requested 2x C-130Hs along with pricing for more modern C-130Js; 10 engines for the P-3 Orion maritime patrol aircraft; three Protector-class ships; as well as 60 M2 Bradley infantry fighting vehicles. Interestingly, the Greek government has also requested second-hand KC-135s.

Here’s what we wrote about the other acquisitions and upgrades in a previous article published in 2020:

The HAF is set to receive 18 Rafale, six of which will be newly built Rafale F3-R while the remaining twelve are second-hand Rafale F3-O4T which are reportedly being upgraded to the F3-R standard too. The Rafale will reportedly replace the non-upgraded Mirage 2000EG/BG, serving alongside the newer Mirage 2000-5 Mk II. The Greek government asked for deliveries to start in 2021, like the F-35s. The French Air Force, which has been recently redesignated as French Air and Space Force, will replace the aircraft sold to Greece with the same number of new ones.

The HAF is also upgrading 82 of its 153 F-16C/Ds Block 52 to the F-16V Block 70 configuration. The upgrade program will last until 2027, with the works on the first jets already in progress at the Hellenic Aerospace Industry facilities. According to a Lockheed Martin brochure detailing the proposed upgrade for the HAF, the equipment removed from the Block 52 aircraft (before subsequently being replaced by the new components) could be used to upgrade Block 30 and 50 aircraft to the M6 avionic configuration, but this has not been confirmed by the Greeks.

Back in July, the Greek government has signed a Letter Of Acceptance (LOA) to purchase four MH-60R Seahawk helicopters and modernize the 11 S-70B6 Aegean Hawk helicopters already in service in the Greek Navy. The contract for this Foreign Military Sale (FMS) was awarded to Lockheed Martin later in October. The MH-60 will reportedly replace (partially or completely) the 7 AB-212ASW in service.

In the same month, an upgrade program for 19 AH-64 Apache helicopters has been reported, with Elbit Systems providing a new Modernized Target Acquisition Designation Sight/Pilot Night Vision Sensor System (M-TADS/PNVS) and Integrated Helmet and Display Sighting System (IHADSS). The Apache will get the Rafael Spike NLOS fire-and-forget anti-tank guided missile to integrate or replace the AGM-114 Hellfire. The Aegean Hawk will also reportedly receive the new weapon.

About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.

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