The rafale-mania rages in the Air Force in view of the arrival on Wednesday of the first six French-made fighter planes, according to Proto Thema.
Wednesday’s arrivals will be the first six of a total of 24 air force-equipped twin-engine fighter jets that Greece has purchased.
It will be preceded by a flight of approximately two and a half hours, non-stop, directly from Istria, France, to the 114th Battle Wing in Tanagra.
READ MORE: Greek army chief flew in a Rafale fighter jet during a trip to France: “I felt amazed” – See the photos.
The Rafale has a range of 2,800 miles, a much larger fuel capacity, two engines introduced for the first time as part of an air force combat system, extremely powerful electronically scanned array radar and the ability to carry two Exocet missiles.
At the helm of the six Rafale F3Rs, including four single-seaters and two two-seaters, will be Air Force pilots with the ranks of commander and lieutenant.
They are experienced Air Force pilots who, during the last 12 months – that is to say immediately after the signing of the contract for the supply of the first 18 Rafales – are trained in the handling of twin-engine fighters French.
The two two-seater Rafales will be co-piloted by French instructors from Dassault, who will stay in Greece for some time to watch the training of the youngest Greek Top Gun pilots in flight with the most modern fighter ever acquired by the Air Force. Greek. .
Before landing at the base of Tanagra, the six Rafales will fly over the Acropolis, thus addressing a salute to the eternal symbol of Hellenism.
From the moment the Greek Rafale enters the Athens Flight Information Region, a pair of Mirage 2000-5 aircraft will fly wing by wing alongside the twin-engine fighters until their landing time in Tanagra, scheduled for 12:30 p.m.
READ MORE: Turkish pilots train on Rafale jets in hopes of countering Greek air force superiority.
Eight of the first 12 Greek pilots who were introduced to the secrets of the Rafale’s operation have already completed their training.
Indeed, four of the first 12 who trained in flight with French twin-engine fighters and were certified as trainers.
In the coming months, they should begin training pilots who have already received transfers for 332 Squadron.
From January 20, the 332 Squadron will have the most modern fighter planes of the Air Force.
The buildings and hangars of the “Geraki” Squadron at the Tanagra air base have been renovated and modernized so that everything is ready for their reception: from the workshops to the shelters where the French-made Rafales will be stored when they are on the ground.
Nearly 50 Air Force technicians have already been trained in their maintenance, inspection and repair following a specific training program at the Bordeaux-Mérignac air base in France with experienced technicians from Dassault.
There is excitement in the 114th Battle Wing in Tanagra, but also throughout the Air Force.
The Rafales are seen as the aircraft that will usher the Aegean guards into a new era.
The purchase cost of 24 Rafale with their weapons, spare parts and other equipment reached 3.3 billion euros.
A total of 2.32 billion euros will be spent on the first 18 Rafales (six new and the other 12 used by the French Air Force) and their weapons, with an additional contract expected to be signed in the next few weeks to buy another one. six new jets.
As much as Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar laments that Athens is buying second-hand fighter jets and that it is a futile effort to balance the balance of power with Ankara, the capabilities of the French Rafale will considerably improve the capabilities of Greece.
READ MORE: The historic MJ755 Spitfire of the Hellenic Air Force.
The Rafale will carry the same air-to-air weapons carried by the Mirage, namely the Mica ER/IR and the Mica EM, in greater numbers.
Additionally, they can carry the Meteor missile, which has a longer radius than the American Amraam missile.
The Rafale is superior to the F-16s in terms of range, duration of stay in the sky, ability to carry a load of cargo, flexibility and survivability, because they have two engines compared to the F-16s which do not only have one.
READ MORE: Dendias: France expresses the quintessence of European solidarity, cooperation is strengthening.