Kam­menos plans to up­grade, buy jets for Aegean bal­ance

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

De­fense Min­is­ter Panos Kam­menos has told Kathimerini that Athens in­tends to up­grade Greece’s fleet of F-16s as well as con­sid­er­ing the ac­qui­si­tion of the more so­phis­ti­cated F-35 air­craft fol­low­ing Ankara’s re­cent de­ci­sion to or­der 24 F-35s from Lock­heed Martin.

The plan would al­low Greece to re­store a sense of bal­ance op­po­site Tur­key as re­gards mil­i­tary ca­pa­bil­i­ties in the Aegean, ac­cord­ing to Kam­menos.

Al­though Ankara will not re- ceive the first six F-25s un­til 2018, there is still a sense of un­ease in Athens about Tur­key boost­ing its fleet of fighter jets par­tic­u­larly in view of a spate of Turk­ish vi­o­la­tions of Greek air space in re­cent weeks.

Athens re­mains com­mit­ted to main­tain­ing its de­ter­rent ca­pa­bil­i­ties op­po­site Tur­key but lacks the eco­nomic where­withal to en­ter into an arms race with its neigh­bor with which it re­tains ter­ri­to­rial dis­putes in the Aegean.

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