The first 6 Rafale aircraft will arrive in Greece and fly over the Acropolis at noon on Wednesday.

The first 6 of 24 Rafale fighter jets for the Hellenic Air Force are expected to arrive in the country on Wednesday. They will take off from the Istra Air Base in France and land at the 114th Tanagra Air Base.

Rafale fighter jets are due to fly over the Acropolis shortly after 12 noon.

Greece and France sign a €2.3 billion deal to buy 18 Rafale fighters in January 2021. Nine months later, in September, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis surprised the Greeks by announcing that the Rafal fleet would be increased to 24.

The Rafale is a fourth-generation French multirole fighter. Of the main features of the aircraft – most of the fuselage elements are made of composite materials. In addition, according to the creators, the Rafale is the first European fighter equipped with a modern active phased array radar, which allows France to position the aircraft as 4+.

The maximum speed of the aircraft reaches Mach 1.8, that is, more than two thousand kilometers per hour. Up to 9 tons of cargo is placed on 13 suspension points: fuel tanks, air-to-air and air-to-ground missiles, guided bombs. Rafale will also be able to carry a promising European long-range missile METEOR. In Greece, several dozen French Mirage 2000 fighters are already in service. At the same time, 8 of them crashed, mainly for technical reasons.

In the last conflict with Turkey, France defiantly supported Greece by sending its fleet to the Eastern Mediterranean. If the deal goes through, the fighters will really add power to the Greek Air Force to fight Turkey for power in the Mediterranean region. Tensions between Ankara and Athens have risen sharply in the past month after Greece challenged Turkey’s energy development in the Eastern Mediterranean.

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