F-16 upgrade deal eyed after visit by US officials


A decision on whether Greece will go ahead with updating its air force fleet of 85 F-16s is expected next week after a weekend visit by a team of nine representatives of the American government and eight representatives of US aerospace firm Lockheed Martin aimed at exploring whether a deal can be reached.

Sources say that the main obstacle to a deal is the program’s launch date and the tight payment schedule. Right now, the proposal is for a first installment this year of 400-450 million euros, with an additional 200 million or so payable in 2019 and 2020.

Greece is eager to update its fleet so that it attains interoperability with F-35 jets, which Turkey is already starting to acquire.