Greece is set to sign a deal with France to purchase 18 Dassault-made Rafale fighter jets for €2.3bn, as it seeks to boost its air power amid tensions with Turkey.
Government of Greece spokesperson Stelios Petsas said in a televised briefing that the deal will include six new and 12 second-hand Rafale jets with a combined value of €1.92bn.
It will pay an additional €400m for associated equipment, Reuters reported quoting the spokesperson.
As planned, the six second-hand jets are expected to be delivered around June, while the new jets will be available by mid-2023.
Greece first announced its intension to purchase Rafale aircraft in September to enhance defence capabilities. The European nation also announced plans to acquire four frigates and four navy helicopters.
Additionally, the Greek Armed Forces is seeking to upgrade its F-16 fleet and procure new helicopters and drones.
The country’s defence budget is estimated to reach €5.5bn this year, despite a Covid-19 induced contraction of the economy.
Greece and its neighbouring country, Turkey, are embroiled in a dispute over oil and gas exploration resources in the contested Eastern Mediterranean region.
The multirole Rafale fighter jets are manufactured by Dassault Aviation.
India, which is also in the process of acquiring 36 Rafale jets, received the second batch of aircraft last month.
With the delivery, the Indian Air Force (IAF) now has eight Rafale jets in its fleet.