“Ambitious” is the word used by the Greek Prime Minister to describe the country’s new armament program, answering a relevant question at the press conference in Thessaloniki regarding the program’s cost, whether the jets and the frigates will be immediately operational, and the content of the defense cooperation agreement with France.

“The program is ambitious, but compliant with the country’s financial potential, and holistic,” Mr. Mitsotakis explained, stressing that the approach is different as some significant investments are being made, but it is also recognized that the essence of the armed forces are the human resources, which is why in the next five years 15,000 recruitments are expected.

“The new Rafale fighter jets are about to replace the older non-modernized Mirage-2000”, Mr. Mitsotakis noted, adding that “our prediction and hope is that the first jets will arrive in Greece in the middle of 2021 and that the purchase should be completed by the beginning of 2022, at the latest”. He pointed out that during the financial crisis no serious investments were made in the Navy and, thus, the main suggestion is to strengthen the country’s fleet. Regarding the new frigates, he explained that the relevant program has an implementation time of five to seven years.