Greece gets first 2 upgraded F-16s out of a total 83

Sep 12, 2022, 10:00 AM | Updated: 1:00 pm
Guests take photographs of the two Greek Fighter Jets F-16 Viper at Tanagra air force base about 74...

Guests take photographs of the two Greek Fighter Jets F-16 Viper at Tanagra air force base about 74 kilometres (46 miles) north of Athens, Greece, Monday, Sept. 12, 2022. Greece's air force on Monday took delivery of a first pair of upgraded F-16 military jets, under a $1.5 billion program to fully modernize its fighter fleet amid increasing tension with neighboring Turkey. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

(AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)

TANAGRA, Greece (AP) — Greece’s air force on Monday took delivery of a first pair of upgraded F-16 military jets under a $1.5 billion program to modernize its fighter fleet amid increasing tensions with neighboring Turkey.

The two F-16s presented at the Tanagra airbase northwest of Athens are the first of 83 to be refitted with advanced electronics, radar and weapons capabilities by late 2027 by Greece’s Hellenic Aerospace Industry, in coordination with U.S. manufacturer Lockheed Martin.

The head of Greece’s joint chiefs of staff, Gen. Constantinos Floros, said the program’s successful and timely completion “is an issue of the highest national importance.”

“Any potential aggressor will have to think twice or thrice before trying their luck,” once the upgrade is completed, he said at Monday’s presentation.

Relations with historic regional rival Turkey have hit a new low following repeated, thinly-veiled threats from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan that his country might invade Greece’s eastern Aegean Sea islands.

Turkey claims the islands have been illegally militarized. Greece says it needs to defend them against potential attack. The two NATO allies are also at odds over offshore gas and oil rights, and their fighter jets routinely intercept each other or engage in simulated dogfights over the Aegean.

Asked Sunday by The Associated Press whether the recent escalation in rhetoric from Turkey could be the prelude to an armed conflict, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis replied negatively.

“I don’t believe this will ever happen,” he said. “And if, God forbid, it happened, Turkey would receive an absolutely devastating response.”

On Monday, Mitsotakis said Athens “always keeps a window open to dialogue and discussion” with Turkey. He spoke in Paris ahead of talks with French President Emmanuel Macron.

Following years of forced savings during the 2010-2018 financial crisis, Greece has embarked on a multibillion-dollar spending spree to boost its armed forces. It has bought or ordered French Rafale fighter jets and FDI frigates, and plans to purchase F-35 fighters from the U.S.

The F-16s, developed in the 1970s, are the workhorse of Greece’s air force. It acquired a first batch of 40 in 1989, and another 130 over the years. The latest upgrade will bring the 83 planes to the Block 72 variant that’s the most advanced F-16 version in service in Europe.

Another four F-16s will be upgraded by the end of this year.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Solomon Islands Foreign Minister Jeremiah Manele addresses a media conference at Parliament in Well...
Associated Press

Solomon Islands agreed to accord after China references axed

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — Solomon Islands agreed to sign an accord between the United States and more than a dozen Pacific nations only after indirect references to China were removed, the Solomon Islands foreign minister said Tuesday. “There were some references that put us in a position where we’ll have to choose sides, and […]
20 hours ago
Associated Press

After storms, NYC moving location of planned migrant shelter

NEW YORK (AP) — A facility using giant tents to temporarily house migrants being sent to New York City will now be located closer to Manhattan instead of a remote corner of the Bronx, Mayor Eric Adams announced Monday, after weekend storms raised concerns over flooding at the original site. The city’s humanitarian relief center […]
20 hours ago
Las Vegas Raiders running back Josh Jacobs (28) scores a touchdown against the Denver Broncos durin...
Associated Press

Justices won’t revive Oakland’s lawsuit over loss of Raiders

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Monday rejected Oakland’s last-ditch effort to revive an antitrust lawsuit against the National Football League over the Raiders’ move to Las Vegas in 2020. The city had been seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in its claim that the league violated federal antitrust law by acting like a […]
20 hours ago
Navy Rear Adm. John Wade, commander of Joint Task Force Red Hill, speaks to reporters at a media ro...
Associated Press

Navy admiral to seek community input on Red Hill fuel tanks

JOINT BASE PEARL HARBOR-HICKAM, Hawaii (AP) — The commander of the task force responsible for draining fuel from a World War II-era storage tank facility that leaked jet fuel and poisoned Pearl Harbor’s tap water last year said Monday he’s exploring ways to get community feedback. Rear Adm. John Wade told reporters at a news […]
20 hours ago
FILE - Democrat Charles Booker speaks to a group of supporters following his victory in the Kentuck...
Associated Press

Booker brands GOP Sen. Rand Paul as ‘barrier’ to progress

Democrat Charles Booker railed against Republican U.S. Sen. Rand Paul as a “barrier” to progress Monday night as he made a pitch to Kentucky voters in a solo appearance on statewide television. Booker, a former state lawmaker, touted his plans to expand health care access, stoutly defended his support for abortion rights and said policymakers […]
20 hours ago
Immigrants gather with their belongings outside St. Andrews Episcopal Church, Wednesday Sept. 14, 2...
Associated Press

Reports: Migrant flights’ mysterious recruiter identified

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The mysterious woman who allegedly lured dozens of migrants on Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ flights to Martha’s Vineyard from San Antonio has been identified by several media outlets as Perla H. Huerta, a former combat medic and U.S. Army counterintelligence agent living in Tampa. The New York Times reported late Sunday […]
20 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Greece gets first 2 upgraded F-16s out of a total 83