The first delivery of Rafale type warplanes, which Greece ordered from France, was made. Athens’ total 24 pcs planned to provide Rafale-type French warplanes the first 6, north of Athens Tanagra Air BaseWhat landed.
Prime Minister of Greece at the ceremony during the landing Kiryakos Miçotakis was also present. Noting that the first delivery was made 16 months after the order, Miçotakis stated that the second delivery of 6 aircraft will be made in 2022 and the other deliveries will be made in 2023 and later.
Retired Lieutenant General speaking to Cumhuriyet about the said purchase Nejat BilginHe said that the diversity of arms in a country provides flexibility against embargoes, but it is economically frustrating. Bilgin also pointed out that Turkey has an air force that can cope with Greece’s new fleet.
“TURKEY IS WITH A STRENGTH TO COPE”
Emphasizing that the Rafale type aircraft, which is the new weapon power of Greece, has been increased from 18 to 24 before, Bilgin said, “Greece wants to make the planes a full fleet. When you compare the power of the two countries, this is a threat, but I can easily say that The current structure of the Turkish Air Force is still strong enough to deal with this threat.” said.
Mentioning that there are two options especially in foreign-dependent weapon systems, Bilgin said, “The first is to diversify. Like French, American, British aircraft… But the more you diversify, the higher the cost of aircraft. The price of the aircraft is roughly between $70-75 million, but it has a 30-year lifespan. There are maintenance costs in it,” he said.
ADVANTAGEOUS IN DIVERSITY EMBARGO
Bilgin said that rather than the purchase price of the aircraft, the maintenance and operating expenses are one of the most important income sources for the selling country. The same price becomes the largest source of expense for the purchasing country. Explaining that having the weapon systems of different countries is economically exhausting, Bilgin said, “Having US, French and British planes at the same time is wearing out. In such cases, it is necessary to keep more material in the warehouses, some of which are dead investments. The benefit of buying from different countries is that when the embargo is applied as the USA did to us, you will have a choice. You get rid of the embargo threat‘ he said.
FRENCH PRESENCE IN THE EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
Underlining that Greece’s biggest advantage is political, Bilgin finally said:
“It has taken a great power like France behind it. It is not a big situation for us, but When Greece gets a big power like France behind it, it gets the support of the European Union, which is a bigger power. It gives itself political power. France never gave up on the Eastern Mediterranean and Syria. Greece has also taken France behind it in order to benefit from the resources related to the deposits around Turkey and Cyprus. It is necessary to look at the matter from this perspective. Apart from that, although Greece has added a power to itself, Turkey still has an Air Force that can cope with this power.“