The Greek government has on 24 March signed deals worth around 4 billion euros ($4.4 billion) to buy three navy frigates and six additional Rafale fighter jets from France. It comes as Athens strengthens its military in the face of increasing tensions with neighboring Turkey.
The Associated Press reported that the three FDI-class French frigates will be built by defense contractor Naval Group in Lorient, in western France, to be delivered by 2026. The agreement signed Thursday includes an option to purchase a fourth frigate at a later date. The additional six new Rafale jets, to be built by France’s Dassault Aviation, were added to an earlier order of 18 Rafales that included planes previously in service with the French Air Force.
French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly said: “It is with solidarity that we address the threats that face our nations and our interests. This also demonstrates our will to partner with industry over the long term.”
Also present at the signing was Eric Trappier, Chairman and CEO of Dassault Aviation. He said: “This new contract demonstrates the Greek government’s confidence in the Rafale, which is already actively contributing to guaranteeing Greece’s sovereignty and operational independence. Once again, I am honored by the Hellenic Air Force’s renewed trust in Dassault Aviation, reflecting nearly half a century of unwavering partnership. I would also like to assure the Greek authorities of our full commitment to fully meet their expectations.”