Greece and France join forces in historic defense partnership

This Tuesday, September 28, French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriákos Mitsotákis, in the presence of military ministers Florence Parly and Nikólaos Panayotópoulos, signed a very ambitious memorandum of understanding, relating to the acquisition of 3 FDI Belharra frigates and 6 combat aircraft Rafale additional assets for the Hellenic naval and air forces, as well as a defense agreement binding the two countries in the event of aggression. Beyond the commercial and economic aspects, this historic agreement between the two European countries could well constitute the effective starting point of the European defense initiative so desired by the French President as well as, obviously, the start of cooperation Franco-Greek strategic plan going well beyond the contracts signed today.

A firm order for 3 FDI and 6 Rafale

The most visible aspect of this agreement signed today between the two heads of state is naturally the order of 3 FDI Belharra frigates and 6 new combat aircraft Rafale, adding to the 18 other copies already ordered by Athens at the start of the year. The contract, estimated at around €3 billion, could not be more welcome for the French Defense Industry, hard hit by the Australian episode but also in Switzerland. What's more, the 3 frigates will be assembled on the Naval Group site in Lorient, which will accelerate the speed of production, and very probably reduce costs, with the first two ships due to be delivered in 2025, and the 3rd in 2026. We therefore suspect that among the 3 frigates to be built, some will be taken from the initial load plan of the 5 frigates of the same type ordered by the French Navy, as was the case, for example, with the FREMM frigates sold to Egypt and Morocco. This is undoubtedly excellent news for the Lorient site, which needed additional load for the years to come, making it possible to secure highly qualified jobs and support the regional economy.

RAfale Greece Military alliances | Defense Analysis | Fighter aircraft
With the order of 6 additional ships, the Hellenic Air Force will field 24 Rafale, a figure that could well be expected to increase in the years to come

It is easy to imagine that the announcement of Athens' decision in favor of France was partly conditioned by the Australian episode; it nonetheless remains true that it is a hard-fought agreement negotiated, against 5 other American and European industrialists determined to impose themselves in this competition. The amount of €3 billion advanced for the contract suggests that France has actually granted the discounts promised to Athens, with a unit price for each equipped and armed frigate of around €800 million, service and training included, bringing the FDI to prices closer to those of its competitors, while being much more efficient in all areas, and particularly in terms of anti-aircraft defense. The order of 6 Rafale additional, for its part, had already confirmed by the Greek Prime Minister a few days ago. Through these two acquisitions, the Greek armed forces will benefit considerably increased military power against Turkey, even as the latter recently announced the very likely imminent acquisition of a second batch of Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft systems, and the launch of the FT-2000 heavy destroyer program.

The start of deep industrial cooperation

LOGO meta defense 70 Military alliances | Defense Analysis | Fighter aircraft

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