F-16 Viper HYTHA Aircraft – Are there any new weapons for the F-16s?

The Minister of National Defense, Nikos Tendias, together with the Chief of the Air Force, General Dimitrios Houpis, today, Friday, February 23, 2024, visited the 115th Fighter Wing of the Air Force, Akrotiri Soudas, where he received him. General Air Force Chief Lieutenant General (I) Timostenis Grigoriadis and 115PM Commander Christos Grigoroudis.

The Air Force performs two roles. It is in principle a pillar of prevention for our country, but also a pillar of contribution to society as a whole. And I would like to say that its efficiency and the great skill of its administrators guarantee the security of the motherland.

This was emphasized by the Minister of National Defense, Nikos Dentias, who visited the Air Force's 115th Fighter Wing today, Friday, February 23, with the Chief of the General Air Force, General Dimitrios Houpis. Akrotiri Soudas, where he was received by the Chief of the General Air Force, Lt. Gen. (I) Demosthenes Grigoriadis and the Commander of the 115th Fighter Wing, Commander Christos Grigoroudis.

The Minister took a flight over the Aegean in an F-16 Viper formation of 340 Squadron, accompanied by the Chief of the Greek Air Force General Dimitrios Houpis and the Chief of the Greek Air Force Lt. General (I) Timostenis Gregoriatis. .

Mr. Dentias underlined the strategic importance of the Crete, describing the aircraft as a “unique opportunity” as he had flown “with the F-16 and indeed with its modern version, the F-16 Viper”.

As he put it, he realized that “the most difficult circumstances in which officers of the Air Force are called upon to perform their duties are their duty to the motherland.”

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“The Greek government is constantly trying to strengthen and modernize our air force,” he pointed out.

“Receipt of Rafale, receipt of F-16 Viper, strengthens our forces. Procurement of weapon systems is underway, which already enhances our high operational capabilities.

As you know, we are already discussing the purchase of the world's most modern aircraft, the F-35, which will undoubtedly strengthen our country's operational and deterrence capabilities,” he explained.

Regarding “Agenda 2030”, Greece is trying to “rebuild and rebuild the defense sector and create a new innovation system that will give us the opportunity to produce weapons systems ourselves. Our country”.

He thanked all airmen “for their excellent response to their high duties”.

“They work,” he added, “24 hours a day, seven days a week, so the planes are ready to operate and protect our homeland.”

Finally, he congratulated the Chief of Geeta and the Air Force Chief “the officers you command”.

Details of the report issued by the Ministry of Health in this regard: “I am very pleased to be here today at the 115th Fighter Wing's facilities in Crete, an area of ​​great strategic importance. It is strategically important for Greece's role in the wider region together with our partners and allies. Recently the F-16, and the F-16 Viper, in its most advanced version I have had the unique opportunity to fly and understand the extremely difficult conditions under which Air Force personnel have to perform their duty to the motherland.

The Air Force performs two roles. It is in principle a pillar of prevention for our country, but also a pillar of contribution to society as a whole. And I would like to say that its efficiency and the great skill of the officers guarantee the safety of the motherland. But beyond that, for stability in our wider region, to prevent any aggression and any revisionism. The Greek government is constantly striving to strengthen and modernize our Air Force. Receipt of Rafale, F-16 Viper strengthens our forces. Procurement of weapon systems is underway, which is already enhancing our high operational capabilities. As you know, we are already discussing the purchase of the world's most modern aircraft, the F-35, which will undoubtedly strengthen our homeland's operational and deterrence capabilities.

As part of the “Agenda 2030″, Greece is trying to rebuild and rebuild our defense sector and create a new innovation system that will give us the opportunity to use our country's skills and human capital to produce weapons systems ourselves. . But, especially on the occasion of my presence here today, I would like to thank all Air Force officers for their excellent response to their high duties. They work 24 hours a day, seven days a week to keep aircraft ready to protect and operate our homeland. Therefore, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the Greek government for its contribution, not only to the pilots, but also to all the administrators and political staff who support these flights from the ground, and their great contribution to the preservation of territorial integrity. Let us congratulate the present Air Chief of our motherland and the officers they command.”

It is August 2020. The Turkish Navy is stationed in the Eastern Mediterranean to support the Turkish research vessel ORUR REIS. The Greek armed forces are on high alert. Turkish provocation has reached red. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis moved to the 115th Combat Division, sending a message that the political leadership stands by the Greek armed forces. As part of his visit, he was photographed next to a 343 Squadron F-16 Block 52+ equipped with AGM-65G Maverick missiles.

Knowing that we have become “satisfied”, we will repeat some important issues to the political leadership.

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First of all. Official US approval for the F-35 acquisition was received, but little mention was made of the new weapons.

Secondly. PA F-16s have large and serious gaps in their armament. Whether these are modernized F-16 Vipers or older versions. Israel's Spice & Rampage strike weapons program is not yet under contract.

It is unclear when US-sourced weapons will be approved for the PA F-16s.

Thirdly. Now getting new coasters to replace the museum lanterns is a matter of great importance.

Fourth. Pending the issue of upgrading the F-16 Block 50, the F-16 Block 30 is of no concern as they have gone through two different structural upgrade programs (FALCON UP & FALCON STAR) and their lifespans are still significant.

The main operational issue is to arm the PA F-16s with modern ground and surface attack weapons. To increase the Greek deterrent, it is not enough to simply modernize aircraft or acquire 5th generation fighter jets, if not with appropriate weapons. Platforms alone do not create or ensure deterrence. Instead, it is the platforms that carry the appropriate weapons that make the difference and provide deterrence guarantees for the Greek armed forces.

Four years after the 2020 crisis, the F-16 arsenal remains at the same level.

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