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Defense minister inspects F-16 upgrades, C-130 maintenance

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Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos visited the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAV) facilities in Tanagra, north of Athens on Monday, to inspect maintenance work on the Hellenic Air Force’s military transport aircraft (C-130) and the upgrades being installed on Greek F-16 fighter jets to bring them up to Viper level specifications.

Panagiotopoulos also inspected the prototype F-16 Viper, codenamed “005”. On Thursday, the prototype jet will journey to Fort Worth, Texas.

The upgraded F-16s will have many additional features of the new generation of F-35 jet, but without its stealth capabilities.

These upgrades are a collaboration between EAV and Lockheed Martin to modernise the ageing fleet of the Hellenic Air Force, as some of its 150 F-16s are almost 30 years old. The final cost of the project is expected to be 1.2 billion euros.