Saturday, September 12, 2020

Greece announces major arms purchase as Turkey tension rises

Greece announces major arms purchase
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Saturday announced a "robust" arms purchase programme and an overhaul of the country's military amid rising tension with Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean.

What appears to be Greece's most ambitious military overhaul in nearly two decades was unveiled as it is engaged in a growing stand-off with Turkey over hydrocarbon resources and naval influence in the waters off their coasts.

The bitter row between the NATO allies has roped in other European countries and even sparked fears of more severe conflict.

"The time has come to reinforce the armed forces ... these initiatives constitute a robust programme that will become a national shield," Mitsotakis said in a keynote address in the northern city of Thessaloniki.

Mitsotakis said Greece would acquire 18 French-made Rafale warplanes, four multi-purpose frigates and four navy helicopters, while also recruiting 15,000 new troops and pouring resources into the national arms industry and cyber-attack defence.

New anti-tank weapons, navy torpedoes and airforce missiles will be secured, the PM said in what appears to be Greece's most ambitious military overhaul in nearly two decades.

The initiative, which includes upgrades of another existing four frigates, is also designed to create thousands of jobs, he said.

More details on the cost of the programme and origin of the weapons purchases will be announced at a news conference Sunday, a government source told AFP.

Greece's last equivalent purchase spree was in the early 2000s with deals brokered or explored for German tanks and submarines, American warplanes and Russian defensive missiles and hovercrafts.

But most of these plans were shelved owing to the cost of organising the Athens 2004 Olympic Games...

1 comment :

  1. Florence Parly:

    La Grèce a annoncé son souhait d’acquérir 18 Rafale. Une excellente nouvelle pour l’industrie aéronautique française et une première : un pays européen veut se doter d’avions de combat Rafale. Le résultat d’une politique d’exportation que je mène avec conviction depuis 2017.


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