Florence Parly, the French Armed Forces Minister, confirmed via a tweet Greece’s decision to purchase 6 additional Rafale, to the 18 already contracted.
In January three contracts were signed for the purchase of 18 Rafales, logistic support and armament, for a total amount of 2,350 million euros.
From these 18 aircraft, due to cost and delivery time issues, only 6 will be factory-new aircraft, in their latest F3R variant, and the remaining 12 Rafale will be second-hand ex French Air and Space Force.
The agreement envisaged starting Rafale deliveries as soon as possible: six second-hand from July 2021 to the end of the year, the next six brand new in 2022 and the last six used by Armee de l’Air in the second half of 2023.
In early July, the first photos of the Greek Rafale emerged in the colours of the Hellenic Air Force (HAF). And at the end of that month, the first of them, a two-seater B model, was delivered to its new owners.
This first aircraft, as well as the next five to come from the French Air and Space Force, will serve to train HAF pilots and technicians in France, before deploying to Tanagra Air Force Base, the future home of the HAF Rafale.
The first group of HAF pilots, already trained for several months by the French Air and Space Force, and 50 technicians, will join Dassault’s Aviation Conversion Training Centre (CTC) in Mérignac (France) to continue their preparation.
But even before receiving the first unit, Greek military sources had commented in local media that they were willing to incorporate 6 additional units, to bring to 24 fighters the Rafale squadron N°332.
Dassault Rafale HAF
Finally, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, during the Thessaloniki International Fair on Saturday 11, confirmed the rumours:
“I have announced the purchase of 18 Rafale. Soon there will be 24. The first of them will fly in the Greek sky before the end of the year”, he added.
What is not yet known for sure, is whether these will be more second-hand aircraft or factory-new examples. But with the speed at which negotiations between Greece and France are proceeding, it won’t be long before we find out.