NEWS

Kammenos plans to upgrade, acquire jets for Aegean balance

VASSILIS NEDOS

TAGS: Defense

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos has told Kathimerini that Athens intends to upgrade Greece’s fleet of F-16s as well as considering the acquisition of the more sophisticated F-35 aircraft following Ankara’s recent decision to order 24 F-35s from Lockheed Martin.

The plan would allow Greece to restore a sense of balance opposite Turkey as regards military capabilities in the Aegean, according to Kammenos.

Although Ankara will not receive the first six F-25s until 2018, there is still a sense of unease in Athens about Turkey boosting its fleet of fighter jets particularly in view of a spate of Turkish violations of Greek air space in recent weeks.

Athens remains committed to maintaining its deterrent capabilities opposite Turkey but lacks the economic wherewithal to enter into an arms race with its neighbor with which it retains territorial disputes in the Aegean.

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