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The Greek Air Force began to receive upgraded F-16 Viper fighters

The Greek Air Force began to receive upgraded F-16 Viper fighters

Against the backdrop of worsening relations with Turkey, the Greek Air Force began to receive updated fighters. The first two F-16s upgraded to the Viper level have been handed over to the military. This is reported by the Ministry of Defense of the Republic.

The transfer of the first two aircraft took place at the Tanagra Air Base near Athens in the presence of the Secretary of Defense and other senior government officials, as well as the US Ambassador to Athens and representatives of Lockheed Martin.

The program to upgrade the Greek F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters to the level of the F-16 Viper was launched in 2018. As it was reported then, it was designed for four years. Lockheed Martin Corporation said that the entire program will be implemented in Greece, the first two years are allotted for “prototype development and systems integration“, and the update itself will begin in 2020. The American company promised to deliver the first planes in 2022, and so it happened, judging by the reports of the Greek Ministry of Defense.

From 1988 to 2010, the Greek Air Force received 170 F-16 fighters, at the beginning of the modernization there were 155 aircraft left. According to the plans of the Greek Ministry of Defense, 123 F-16 Fighting Falcon fighters were to be upgraded, but it was decided to upgrade only 83 aircraft to the F-16 Viper level.

As stated in Athens, the upgraded F-16 Viper and the planned delivery of the F-35A will allow Greece to counter Turkey’s “aggressive intentions“. By the way, due to the aggravation of relations between the Turks and the Greeks, Kyiv was left without Greek anti-aircraft systems, including the S-300 air defense systems, which Ukraine really wanted to get. As stated in Athens, the transfer or sale of air defense systems “is not even out of the question.”