Greece will consider the possibility of acquiring the US-made F-35 fighter jets as part of its efforts to upgrade its Air Force fleet, Defense Minister Evangelos Apostolakis said on Friday, following remarks by a US official on expanding the sales of the aircraft.
Media reported that a US Pentagon official told Congress on Thursday that the country is considering expanding sales of Lockheed Martin Corp-made F-35 fighter jets to five new nations including Romania, Greece and Poland.
“Beyond the upgrade of the F-16 fighter jets, we are in the process of selecting a new plane for Greece, so we can gradually move to the new generation of aircraft,” he told journalists during a visit to Andravida Air Base, western Peloponnese.
“The statement by the US Congress helps in this perspective. We will examine it, all the elements, and see what will happen.”
The news is the latest event in a rift in US-Turkey’s relations over the latter’s acquisition of Russian missile defence systems which the US believes will threaten its F-35 jets.