The Hellenic Air Force will acquire F-35 stealth fighter jets which were meant to be delivered to Turkey, several Greek sources reported on October 27.
The Estia newspaper said the deal, which will see Greece accruing 20 F-35s including six meant for Turkey, was approved by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his most recent visits to Athens. The first six fighter jets will be delivered in 2022.
The U.S. suspended Turkey’s F-35 contract last year after the Turkish military took delivery of Russian S-400 long-range air-defense missiles.
Earlier this month, the Turkish military conducted its first operational test of the S-400 air-defense system. The move, that was condemned by the NATO, was likely behind the U.S. decision to supply the Hellenic Air Force with F-35 fighter jets.
Greece is currently engaged in a political conflict with Turkey over maritime border in Eastern Mediterranean. The conflcit heated up in the last few weeks as Turkey resumed drilling in the region.
The fifth generation F-35 will grant the Hellenic Air Force an unquestionable advantage against the Turkish Air Force. Greece is also set to reinforce its air force with 18 French-made Dassault Rafale warplanes by 2022.
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