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Greece seeks to add 15 warships to inventory in 5 years: Report

Greece seeks to add 15 warships to inventory in 5 years: Report
Athens carrying out ambitious rearmament for armed forces

By Ahmet Gencturk

ANKARA (AA) – Greece is carrying out an ambitious rearmament program for its armed forces, with a report by local Kathimerini newspaper confirming that it seeks to add 15 warships to its inventory in the next five years.

In a story on Tuesday, the daily said that as a first step, a contract for the purchase of three French FDI-type frigates will be completed soon.

The government will then make a final decision of corvette purchase program, for which Dutch, Italian and French companies are competing.

The report said that if the supplies of two Dutch M-class frigates and six Alkmaar-class minehunters, for which Greece and the Netherlands signed a letter of intent on October, move ahead, the Greek Navy will have to de-commission some older units and allocate a costly maintenance budget.

Meanwhile, Greek and US coast guards signed a cooperation memorandum in Athens on Tuesday, the official AMNA news agency reported.

The agreement that came amid expanding US-Greek military cooperation was inked in the presence of Greek Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis and US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

Plakiotakis said it is an important step toward even closer cooperation between the two countries.

Pyatt, for his part, argued that the cooperation would contribute to the stability and safety of navigation in the Mediterranean.

The Greek Navy already operates 13 frigates, nine Dutch Kortenaer and four German Meko-200 class, and had ordered three FDI class frigates from France in September.

Greece recently also signed multiple big-ticket arms deals with Israel for the purchase of drones and missiles, with France for purchase of Rafael warplanes, and with the US for the update of its F-16s fighter jets to the latest Viper configuration.

More recently, the US State Department approved the sale of four warships worth $6.9 billion to Greece along with the existing frigate modernization transactions worth $2.5 billion.

Turkey has often warned Greece against indulging in an arms race, offering instead to resolve all outstanding issues, including in the Aegean, Eastern Mediterranean, and Cyprus, through dialogue.​​​​​​​

source: News Feed
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