US News Order of Rafale planes by Greece: why Dassault can say thank you to Erdogan

00:26  15 september  2020
00:26  15 september  2020 Source:   challenges.fr

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, speaking on September 12 in Thessaloniki, said that Greece would acquire 18 Dassault Rafale fighters, four frigates Besides the fighter jets Greece announced the acquisition of four new frigates. Apparently, these are frigates of the BELH.RRA project, an export

Greece ’s prime minister outlined plans Saturday to upgrade the country’s defense capabilities, including purchasing new fighter planes , frigates, helicopters and In an annual state of the economy speech, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said Greece would obtain 18 new French-made Rafale

By putting Athens under pressure in the Eastern Mediterranean, the Turkish president facilitated the first export order of the French fighter plane in Europe. A timely contract for Dassault and the Ministry of the Armed Forces.

After Egypt, Qatar and India, Greece made a sensational entry into the Rafale club. In the midst of a standoff with Erdogan’s Turkey in the eastern Mediterranean, Athens announced on 12 September the order for 18 Rafale from France , including six new planes and a dozen used. " The time has come to strengthen our armed forces, hammered Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in a martial speech in Thessaloniki. This is an important program that will form a national shield." This order, the Rafale's first export reference in Europe, comes barely a month after Paris sent a helicopter carrier, a frigate and two Rafale to the Mediterranean in support of Greece. France thus responded to the request for support from Athens, furious at the sending by Turkey of an seismic research vessel, escorted by nine warships, near the Greek island of Kastellorizo, for research for hydrocarbons. 4 Could Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan be indirectly behind the order for Rafale? At the Ministry of the Armed Forces, we are assured that the negotiations began long before the tensions. "Discussions have accelerated in recent days, but they had started in June," said people in the entourage of Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly. Still: France's readiness to support its Greek ally in the face of Erdogan's expansionist aims undeniably weighed in the balance. "There is obviously a referral from the Greek government to Emmanuel Macron, who was the only one to support him so clearly in the face of Turkish provocations," said Admiral Pascal Ausseur, general manager of

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The Dassault Rafale is quite a good aircraft at what it needs to do. It essentially came from France’s withdrawal from the Eurofighter typhoon program. The Typhoon also is more maneuverable than the Rafale thanks to its aerodynamically unstable design and delta-canards.

" Rafale (head-on)" by Phil Bull is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0. Tensions have escalated between Greece and Turkey since Ankara launched a gas exploration campaign last August in a disputed area between the two countries in the Mediterranean.

Mediterranean Foundation for Strategic Studies (FMES), and former director of the military cabinet of Jean-Yves le Drian at the Ministry of Defense. Read also Tensions between Turkey and France: "We must at all costs avoid a Balkan-type scenario" Athens, historical customer

3 However, the purchase of the 18 Rafale is not an order of convenience .

First, because Greece is a long-standing customer of the Dassault house, whose aircraft it has always appreciated. Athens had ordered around forty Mirage F1s in 1974, 40 Mirage 2000s in 1985 and around fifteen Mirage 2000-5s in 2000. "The country is also a partner of the Neuron stealth combat drone program, piloted by Dassault," recalls Jean- Pierre Maulny, deputy director of the Iris think-tank.

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In its decision to acquire Rafale fighter jets, Greece became the first European nations to announce plans to buy jets from France breaking more than a decade long jinx where Welcoming the Greek move, French defence minister Florence Parly today said , “the decision of the Greek government to

Why is India not capable of building its own fighter aircraft like the Eurofighter Typhoon and Dassault Rafale ? Taiwan has not indicated any desire to add the Rafale to their air force, focussing their attention instead on adding additional F16V to go with the upgraded F16s in their inventory right now

3 Above all, the Rafale will allow the Greek Air Force to change divisions. The aircraft will be fitted with Thales's RBE2 radar, much more powerful than that of the Mirage 2000. If France accepts it, some of the aircraft delivered should also be fitted with the formidable Meteor air-to-air missiles from MBDA, machines of over 100km of range which will give the Hellenic aviation a decisive advantage over the Turkish F-16s. "This long-distance air-to-air strike capability, associated with the Rafale's great reconnaissance and ground strike capabilities, represents a huge qualitative leap for Greece," confirms Pascal Ausseur. 3 18 months of production 2 The order from Athens, which Paris hopes to sign before the end of the year, is also excellent news for Dassault. Certainly, to meet the deadlines requested by Athens (first deliveries at the end of 2021) and respect its constrained budget (less than 2 billion euros for the contract), two-thirds of the Rafales ordered are second-hand aircraft, which will be taken from within the French Air Force fleet. But this transfer will be offset by as many new aircraft orders from France. Dassault will therefore have 18 additional Rafales to produce, ie a year and a half of production at the group's traditional rate (eleven planes per year). A breath of fresh air for the aircraft manufacturer, which was recently worried about a hole in the load plan of its factories, anticipated between mid-2024 and 2027. "The Greek order will solve a good part of the problem", we estimate at the hotel de Brienne. 2 The Ministry of the Armed Forces will still have to be careful not to undress the Air Force for too long. Equipped with a hundred Rafale, it is still very much in demand, in the Levant, in the Sahel, in France for its air police missions, but also in the Baltic countries, as part of the "reinsurance" measures against the Russian threat.

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