Lockheed Loses, But US Lauds Greece’s Deal for French Warships

September 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — Although the US defense supplier Lockheed lost out on its bid to supply warships to Greece – it went to France – the United States still applauded the agreement and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said it wouldn't adversely affect ties.

The 2.9 billion euro ($3.38 billion) pact will see Greece buy three French frigates with an option for a fourth after earlier making a 2.5 billion euro ($2.92 billion) deal to buy 18 French-made Rafale fighter jets, 12 used and six new and then upped it to 24 jets.

The timing was delicate, however, as the US and Greece are moving to allow more US bases in Greece and it came ahead of re-signing a mutual defense deal and US-Greece Strategic Dialogue in Washington.

The French agreement also has a mutual defense binder in which either country would come to the other's aid if attacked by a another, seen as protection for Greece against Turkish provocations.

“The US and Greece enjoy a robust defense relationship rooted in our shared values,” a State Department spokesperson told Greek media, using typical diplomatic boilerplate to saying anything indelicate.

“We strongly support Greece’s role in creating stability in the region and look forward to continuing to work closely with Greece to advance our shared goals for peace and prosperity in the region including through our robust relationship with the Hellenic Navy,” the spokesperson said, reported Kathimerini.

“While we have not seen the details of Greece and France’s multi-year defense agreement, we note that the longstanding US-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) was updated in 2019 to the mutual benefit of our two nations and regional security,” the spokesperson said.

The official added that Athens and Washington have made “very significant progress” on reaching an agreement on potential updates to the MDCA, including extending the agreement indefinitely from its current annual duration that will help advance peace in the region and shared defense and security goals between the two NATO allies.

Mitsotakis said the deal won't affect those talks with the US. The agreement is “not antagonistic” to the Greek-US relationship, he said, citing how “France stood by us during difficult times in the summer of 2020”, a reference to Turkey’s challenging of Greek territorial rights in the Aegean Sea.


ATHENS - The progress in implementing Greece's arms programmes was the main focus of the National Council on National Security (KYSEA), which met at the Maximos Mansion on Wednesday, chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.

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