Greece says it has signed an agreement with U.S. defence contractor Lockheed Martin that will allow a major upgrade of its F-16 fighter jet fleet over the next seven years. The defence ministry procurement agency announced Friday that the deal was signed Tuesday finalising details of Lockheed's use of a Greek subcontractor.
The defence minister, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, told parliament earlier this month that 84 F-16 jets would be upgraded by 2027 to the advanced-tech Viper class in a program estimated at $1.5 billion.
The F-16 V includes an active electronically scanned array radar, a new mission computer and electronic warfare suite, automated ground collision avoidance system, and various cockpit improvements.
The announcement of the deal was announced in the White House during ex-PM Alexis Tsipras’ visit with US President Donald Trump.
The original 2.4bn dollar price tag met with strong opposition, and the deal then went to 1.45bn with Greece paying a maximum 182mn dollars a year through 2027
The upgrade program will be completed in 2027, according to current planning.
On a visit to Athens in October, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo signed a revised defence cooperation pact with Greece expanding U.S. military activities at three Greek bases and increasing operations at a US naval base at Souda Bay, on the island of Crete.
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