The first six Rafale fighter jets Greece has purchased from France as part of a new defense agreement flew over the Acropolis in a salute on Wednesday after making the journey from Istres near Marseilles to Athens.
The jets are being formally delivered to the Tanagra Air Base in the capital’s north, during a ceremony that will be attended by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and is being broadcast live by state television ERT.
“It’s a special moment for our strategic partnership with France, but also for our joint vision of European defense,” Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos told Politico’s Playbook on Wednesday morning.
“These superior next-generation aircraft multiply the deterrent power of our air force and strengthen our ability to respond to any security challenge in the region,” he said.
Greece initially bought 18 of the French jets at a cost of €2.3 billion in late 2020 and ordered another six in September.