French defense minister Florence Parly will visit her Greek counterpart in Athens on Monday to officially sign the agreement for the Greek purchase of 18 Rafale fighter jets.
The official visit will formalize the $3 billion agreement which has been in the works since last year. The Greek parliament approved the purchase of six new and 12 used Rafale aircraft this month.
Dassault Aviation, the developer and builder of the twin-engine multirole Rafale fighter, has delivered Mirage F1, Mirage 2000 and Mirage 2000-5 aircraft to the Hellenic Air Force over the last 45 years. According to Dassault, the agreement that will be signed on Monday will also include the modernization of 10 Mirage 2000 to the 2000-5 standard with a large contribution from Greek industry.
Previous reports also said that Greece could buy French frigates. This is yet to be confirmed.
According to local reports, the first used Rafales could arrive in Greece by July this year. Reuters earlier reported that all 18 airframes could be delivered by the end of the year.
Following the formal signing ceremony, French missile specialist MBDA announced it would supply SCALP cruise missiles, AM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles, MICA multi-mission air-to-air missiles and Meteor beyond visual range air-to-air missiles for the Hellenic Air Force Rafale fighters.
Already in service in France, India, Egypt and Qatar, the Rafale is capable of performing air-defense / air sovereignty missions, deep strike missions, air support for ground forces, reconnaissance missions, and nuclear deterrence duties.