ATHENS – Already acquiring French Rafale fighter jets and warships – and American gunboats as a guard against Turkish provocations, Greece is readying a 4 billion euro ($3.91 billion) deal to modernize tanks and get German frigates.
During German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s visit to Athens the armament deal was being prepared, said Greek media and the Turkish newspaper The Daily Hurriyet about the further building of Greece’s arsenal.
That reportedly includes the purchase of 205 new Lynx KF-41 type armored combat vehicles, which will be produced in a factory to be established in Northern Greece as part of the agreement.
It will also see the modernizations of 190 Leopard type 1, 183 Leopard type 2 tanks and four MEKO type frigates. The modernization of a total of 337 Leopard tanks will cost 2 billion euros ($1.95 billion), while the purchase of 205 armored combat vehicles will be worth 1.4 billion euros ($1.37 billion.)
The modernization of the four frigates is worth 600 million euros ($586.39 million) but it wasn’t said from where the money with the state pouring more than 9 billion euros ($8.8 billion) into aid for households hammered by doubled electricity bills.
Greece is on a record run of tourism, however, the sector on a path to bring in perhaps more than 20 billion euros ($19.55 billion) that is fueling projects with growth of some 6 percent seen in 2022 during the waning COVID-19 pandemic.
The arms purchases are on top of the French deals for 24 fighter jets and three three Belharra-type frigates worth $3 billion and Greece trying to buy 20 F-35 fighter jets denied Turkey for buying Russian S-400 missile defense systems.
The F-35 deal, if it goes ahead, would be worth about $3 billion with delivery to begin in 2028, the Turkish newspaper said, which would give the Greek Air Force an advantage over Turkey’s American F-16’s.