The first six Rafale fighter jets of the Air Force land in Tanagra today, Wednesday 19 January.
The French fighters leave Istria, France for the 114th Battle Wing. Before landing at Tanagra, where they will join the 332 Squadron, they will fly over the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis between 12:00 and 12:30.
Following their entry into the Athens FIR, the Rafale will reportedly be accompanied by a pair of Air Force Mirage 2000-5 fighter jets.
In Tanagra, the “present” in the arrival of the French fighter jets will be given, among others, the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis who will speak, the Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos, the Chief of the General Staff of National Defense (GEETHANOS) Floros, the Chief of the General Staff of the Hellenic Air Force (GAF), Rear Admiral Georgios Blioumis and the French Ambassador to Athens, Patrick Mezonav.
It is recalled that the contract for the purchase of 18 Rafale fighter jets (of which six new and 12 used) was signed about a year ago – specifically on January 25, 2021 – by the Minister of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos and his French counterpart Florence Palli. Their acquisition will cost 2.32 billion euros along with the weapons they carry.
In total, Greece will procure 24 Rafale fighter jets. The additional contract for the purchase of an additional six new Rafale fighter jets is expected to be signed in the coming weeks.
Two of the six Rafale that are coming to Greece today will be two-seater to be used for the training of young pilots while the other four will be single-seater.
The training of eight Greek pilots and 50 aircraft technicians has already been completed, which took place at the Meriniak base on French soil by personnel of the manufacturer Dassault.
The Rafale fighters have a range of 2,800 miles and a large fuel capacity, two engines, are equipped with modern and powerful electronic scanning radar and are capable of carrying two Exocet missiles.
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