The fourth – the last – signature required for the approval of the sale of F-35 in Hellas, as the Republican vice chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Jimmy Reese, also signed. Extremely important development as Greece, after the Rafale, also acquires the latest generation American aircraft.

In February, Robert Menendez was the first to sign. The signatures of the chairman and vice chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee Mike McCaul and Gregory Meeks followed and with Reese’s signature this chapter closes and essentially what remains is a formal approval by Congress that is expected to be given in the coming days.

The steps from here on out

The Greek request will be returned to the State Department and from there it will be sent to Athens. There is expected to be a 15-20 day period, a tacit extension in case any US lawmakers want to raise objections, and then it is expected to come to the Directorate General of Equipment and Investments shortly after the election. Then the negotiation period with the Americans will begin to satisfy the Greek request for 20 + 20 F-35s.

The armament that the aircraft will carry, the final configuration, the projects and the infrastructure that must be done at the bases that will accommodate these fighters will be discussed.

This is a process that will last a few months. The aim is to get the signatures either at the end of the year or at the beginning of 2024.

As Kyriakos Mitsotakis has also emphasized, the first F-35 is expected to be delivered by the Greek air force to America in 2028 and by 2033 – according to the plan – Greece will have the first 20 “invisible” and state-of-the-art 5th generation fighters, which, as everyone admits, is the factor that will change the balance in the Aegean and will be added to the Rafales that our country has already procured.