Defense Chief Says Greece Will Look at Buying F-35s to Counter Turkey

FILE - Greek defense chief Evangelos Apostolakis during a NATO meeting in Brussel. (Photo by Eurokinissi/NATO)

With Turkey – which regularly violates Greek airspace – wanting to buy US-made F-35 fighter jets as pilots from both countries engage in mock dogfights, Greece reportedly is mulling buying the new jets too after saying it wanted to upgrade its aging fleet of American F-16 fighters.

Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis, a former Naval commander who headed the country’s Armed Forces, said the F-35 purchases could be on the table, said Kathimerini, without explaining from where the money would come as they cost up to $89 million each.

“Beyond the upgrade of the F-16 fighter jets, we are in the process of selecting a new plane for Greece, so we can gradually move to the new generation of aircraft,” he told journalists during a visit to Andravida Air Base, western Peloponnese.

“The statement by the US Congress helps in this perspective. We will examine it, all the elements, and see what will happen,” he added.

Locked in a dispute with Turkey, which wants to buy US-made F-35’s as well as a Russian missile defense system, the United States was reportedly mulling letting Greece as well as Romania and Poland – buy the fighter jets, a move that could escalate tension with Moscow.

The US wants to let five countries who are European allies get the jets, a Pentagon official told Congress. Russian President Vladimir Putin has warned NATO and the US and its allies from getting too bold near his country’s border.

Greece was anxious that Turkey would have a far superior airplane in the F-35 compared to the F-16s that Greek pilots use, that Greece wants to upgrade as there are frequent violations of Greek airspace that see pilots between the countries engage in mock dogfights.

In written testimony submitted to the US House of Representatives seen by Reuters, Vice Admiral Mathias Winter – the head of the Pentagon’s F-35 office – said that “future potential Foreign Military Sales customers also include Singapore and Spain.

Foreign military sales like those of the F-35 are considered government-to-government deals where the Pentagon acts as an intermediary between the defense contractor and a foreign government. Finland, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates want the jets too.

4 Comments

  1. TNH…just can’t help itself in spinning the sales of U.S f-35’s as some sort of benevolent blessing of the number 1 arms merchant in the world …whose customers include war crimes and state sponsors of terrorist rebels … Saudi Arabia, UAE, Turkey, Qatar etc etc.

    Of course, Romania, Poland…and the honorable Greek Defense Chief are looking to purchase F-35’s !

    Greece, Cyprus and countries of the world have been advised that economic sanctions will be imposed on them, if they purchase oil , gas and military weapons from Russia, or any created enemy of America!

    Of course, unlike Turkey… the cowards and traitors of the Greek government, will do as they are told by Geoffrey Pyatt and the Fascist regimes in Washington and Brussels , and buy what Nato pilots call the F-35 ..a “Lemon” and not bid out to Russia ..their SU -35 super flanker fighters and S-400 missiles defense system!

    The Trump administration imposed sanctions on the Chinese military for buying fighter jets and missile systems from Russia.. the sanctions are related to China’s purchase of 10 SU-35 combat aircraft in 2017 and S-400 surface-to-air missile system.

    It is a act of treason, if the government does not bid out like Egypt…

    Egypt signed a $2 billion contract to buy more than 20 SU-35 multirole fighters from Russia. The delivery of the aircraft, including their weapon systems, will begin as early as 2020-2021. The SU-35 is a single-seat, twin-engine, super maneuverable…

    1. If Russian armaments and weapons systems are so superior to US systems (which they are not) then Turkey should buy them and start aligning itself with Russia. This would include an exit from NATO. Keep in mind the years it would take to retrain pilots, reconfigure infrastructure, etc.

      Have fun.

  2. While we should support the Greek military this is a giant waste of money. Firepower wins wars — or not fighting them in the first place because your enemy fears you. If Greece ever gets in another conflict with a nation any larger than itself it will lose. It does not have the industry to sustain a defense of itself. Nor does not have the technical knowledge to produce weapons that other countries can’t buy from the US or Russia too.

    The best way for Greece to secure its national security is to exit NPT and develop its own nuclear weapons and ballistic missile program. The fact is countries like Russia, US, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, France and UK continue to violate the terms of NPT by continuing to have WMDs (nearly 30 years after the end of the cold war). There is no indication they have any plans to get rid of them.

    This makes Greeks hostage to their will. In practice Greece is a far leftist banana republic with no control over its own destiny because we have no industry and we have no way to defend ourselves. We are beggars at the mercy of others — who have no concern whatsoever for the Greek people (see foreign nationalist evasions over Skopians change into “ancient Macedonian” and irredentism)

    Unfortunately most Greeks are cowards (in particularly leftists but not exclusively so). They fantasize by being submissive “anti-nationalists” that they can protect Greece from threats. Their narrations won’t protect Greece if foreign interests agree to…

  3. Well stated Greek… and I could not agree with you more, however, the Axis of Evil …Great Britain , U.S., Israel and Saudi Arabia ..will never allow Greece to possess Nuclear Weapons to defend itself ..as we have seen in Iran and North Korea!

    The whole foreign policy of the White Supremacist fascist regime of America is to dominate the economic , political , and military of the sovereign independent nations of the world!

    To this end,.emerging economies and countries of the world, not under the control of Washington and Brussels are considered enemies and threats to the power, interests and money of Globalist White supremacist Aristocrats, who have hijacked the democracies of the West!

    Understand, the destruction of libya was planned, it their leader did not surrender his country to their control!
    In other words, if the do not own you..they will destroy you and make you impotent to threaten their power in the future!

    These degenerates ..want Greece to be dependent on them ..and keep them impotent to compete economically or politically..just follow orders! They want a whole world full of countries like dismembered Yugoslavia, who was an economic progressive country of Europe.!

    It the governments of Greece and Cyprus were real patriots , and not prostitutes for power…Greece and Cyprus would already be united as one country, and to defend their independence!

    Instead, these traitor, prefer to be servants and prostitutes to foreign empires!

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