The agreement for the procurement of three French “Belharra” frigates is expected to be tabled in the Greek Parliament in January 2022, according to its timetable, National Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos said on Monday.
The minister said the first six Rafale jets were also expected to be delivered to Greece the same month, possibly on January 19.
Speaking at a press briefing, Panagiotopoulos said Greece had requested that Greek companies of the defense sector are included in the frigate-building process, adding that two of the frigates will be ready by 2025.
The Hellenic Navy is allocated 5 billion euros, he said. Of this, 3 billion will go to the Belharra procurement, 1.5 bilion euros will be allocated to acquire four corvettes and nearly half a billion euros will be used for the upgrade of MEKO frigates.
The ministry is also currently reviewing a proposal by Israel to the Hellenic Air Force for the maintenance of three of the C-130 aircraft.
PM’s visit to US
Panagiotopoulos noted that Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will visit the White House possibly in February 2022. Exploratory talks with Turkey continue, he added, and the next meeting on confidence-building measures with Turkey is expected to take place in March.
Deputy Minister Nikos Hardalias also briefed the press about furthering relations between the Armed Forces and society, upgrading the former in terms of climate change management, and working “to overcome past habits that kept us back.”
The briefing was also attended by the Armed Forces chiefs of staff.