Greece and France celebrated the procurement section of a strategic defense deal signed in September 2021 with an event on Thursday on board the “Battleship Georgios Averof”, permanently docked as a museum at Paleo Faliro, the coastal suburb south of Athens.
Under the procurement deal, Greece will be supplied with three Belharra frigates, with an option for a fourth. They also signed for six additional Rafale jets to the original 18. The ceremony included Greek National Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos and French Minister for the Armed Forces Florence Parly. Also attending were representatives of the two countries’ officials who signed the final agreements – including the manufacturers Naval, MBDA, Dassault Aviation – as well as the Greek Parliament president, the French ambassador to Athens, and the top officials of the Greek Armed Forces.
Following the signing on the Averof, the officials paid a visit to the French aircraft carrier “Charles de Gaulle” and were given a tour by its captain.
Minister Panagiotopoulos said that “never have negotiations for such complex and large armaments programs been completed so quickly and methodically,” and reiterated that the Belharras and Rafales will contribute to Greece’s ability to defend its territorial integrity and its sovereign rights, and act as a deterrent.
The collaboration between Greece and France is a great advantage, and will help in constructing the European defense of the future, he noted.