A few hours ago, an official request from Greece to the US authorities for the purchase of F-35 and is expected to be shipped in the coming days, according to Skai TV channel.
Greece asks US for 20 F-35s, as before announced Prime Minister. In fact, the procedures will be accelerated, since in the coming days the political and military leadership of the Ministry of Defense will travel to the United States to discuss this request.
Government sources regarding the signing of Greece’s request for F-35 aircraft to the United States state that “this is a matter for the Ministry of Defense, and this is a process that has been running for a long time,” in an attempt to separate this agreement from F-16 deliveries to Turkey and the American support that Erdogan received today.
According to government sources, “this is the signing and sending of a Letter of Request (LoR), which is the first step in a long process.”
Recall that at the end of May, the Minister of Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos in an official statement, notified Parliament that the process of acquiring F-35 fighters would begin immediately. These statements were made in the context of a meeting that Mr. Panagiotopoulos had with program leaders (JSF PO – Joint Strike Fighter Program Office) on the F-35 fighter.
The meeting was also attended by US Ambassador to Athens George James Tsunis. During the meeting, Mr. Panagiotopoulos emphasized that after the visit of Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the United States, the process of acquiring F-35 aircraft, which will comply with the operational requirements of the Air Force, will immediately begin.
The Minister of Defense stated that the General Staff will take the necessary actions in the context of the current process of procurement of defense equipment. During the meeting, it was emphasized that the acquisition of F-35 aircraft, which will further strengthen the country’s deterrence and interoperability of the Greek and US armed forces, reflects the strategic level of bilateral defense relations.
US backs Turkey F-16 deliveries
It is worth noting that this news of signing a formal request to the US comes at a time when, amid the NATO summit, Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced an agreement with Joe Biden among the exchanges he received to lift the veto on membership of Sweden and Finlandand, and rendered full US support inplans for the modernization of the Turkish F-16 fleet “.
“These plans are underway and must be implemented through the procurement process, but the US supports the modernization of Turkey’s fighter fleet because it contributes to NATO’s security. Turkey’s strong defense capability contributes to NATO’s strong defense,” the Assistant Secretary of Defense said. However, this decision must be approved by Congress.
In July, the exchange with Germany and the shipment of armored vehicles to Ukraine
It is noted that, in addition to the developments with the F-35, today are the developments on the exchange of armored fighting vehicles of Greece and Germany with the aim of sending in July BPM-1 to Ukraine. On this issue, on the sidelines of the NATO summit, Nikos Panagiotopoulos met with his German counterpart.