US military assistance to Greece hits roadblock

US military assistance to Greece hits roadblock

US military assistance to Greece, part of the so-called Blinken package, has hit a roadblock, as reported on Monday, with the Hellenic Armed Forces refusing to accept most of the offered weapon systems from US stockpiles due to high refurbishment costs.

The Hellenic Navy decided to decline the four LCS frigates offered by the US, as they were older versions and would require substantial resources to make operational. Similarly, the 164 Bradley IFVs from the US Army and BAE Systems stockpiles were rejected by the Hellenic Army due to the significant investments needed for refurbishment.

Moreover, it is unlikely that the Hellenic Air Force will accept the C-130-H, as they would need extensive resources to become airworthy.

The only part of the Blinken package, expected to be completed without issues is the purchase of the 20 F-35 fighter jets. It also remains to be seen if Athens will participate in the Constellation frigate program.

Since the start of the war in Ukraine, Washington has prioritized the needs of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, making it difficult to meet the needs of its other allies from its stockpiles. As a result, negotiations between the Greek and American sides have stagnated, with Athens trying to secure concessions on some lesser portable weapons systems. 

In January, US Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken sent a letter to the PM Kyriakos Mitsotakis informing him of the Washington’s approval of the sale of the F-35 fighter jets to Greece. The letter also included additional weapon systems in US stockpiles that could be given to Greece. 

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