Athens has sent a letter of request (LOR) to the US Department of Defense to buy the F-35 fighter.
As noted by Alert 5, Greek publication Proto Thema reports that the letter, signed by Director General of Armaments and Investments, Theodoros Lagios, seeks to buy between 18 to 24 new or used F-35s.
“The decision to enter (Greece) in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program will be based on a variety of factors such as the fighter delivery schedule, the repayment plan, the configuration of the aircraft and a possible combination to obtain a total of 18 to 24 jets (new or used by the US Air Force, if available),” is mentioned in the Letter of Expression of Interest of the Greek Ministry of National Defense Nikos Panagiotopoulos dated Nov. 6, 2020 and reported by Greek City Times.
“Your immediate response will be appreciated,” reads the letter.
Greece is seeking delivery of aircraft from next year in order to meet its budgetary and deficit framework requirements.
“Due to internal fiscal arrangements and other applicable rules within the EU budget and deficit framework, it is crucial that the first F-35s are delivered in 2021. For our part, we will do everything possible to implement this ambitious program,” the letter continued.
As we have already reported, six of the aircraft would be jets that were originally ordered by Turkey but not delivered.
In fact, since the Russian S-400 anti-aircraft system procured by Turkey can create problems for the current aircraft in service with the Hellenic Air Force (HAF), Athens is moving fast to acquire F-35 stealth fighters.
Greece is looking to buy the F-35 to achieve “air superiority over Turkey,” Panagiotopoulos said in January.
Photo credit: U.S. Air Force
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