N. Panagiotopoulos: The road to upgrade F-16s and acquire F-35s from Turkey is long and uncertain

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“The tactics we followed were well-planned and mainly yielded results”, commented the Minister of National Defense Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos in an interview with the radio station “Sky 100.3” referring to the visit of the Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to the USA.

Regarding the Prime Minister’s speech in the Congress, Mr. Panagiotopoulos remarked that “it was a truly historic speech that captured and won over the entire US political system. This was achieved by Kyriakos Mitsotakis and I would say it is a very important “and the historical success of our country,” he said.

Regarding the talks in the USA, Mr. Panagiotopoulos stressed that “we explained the behavior of Turkey at this time and regarding the behavior towards the ally Greece within NATO with overflights and provocative statements, but also the behavior within it. “Greece is listened to by its allies, valued and treated with respect by one of our strongest allies, who is none other than the United States. This emerged from the visit to Washington.”

He further reiterated that “the balance is disturbed and the security environment and stability is disturbed by the attitudes of Turkey that have developed recently”, commenting that “it is not only a bilateral problem for Greece, but a problem recognized by all partners in the region “.

The Minister of National Defense announced that in the summer the decisions for the reinforcement of the Navy will be taken.

Regarding the prospect of acquiring the F-35 aircraft, Mr. Panagiotopoulos expressed his satisfaction, “because I suggested this to the Prime Minister when he asked me what he could ask from the US President”. At the same time, he announced that “there have already been quite advanced discussions with the construction company Lockheed Martin, which is interested in strengthening its relationship with ODA at this level, while in the Blinken letter that accompanied the second amendment of the Defense Cooperation Agreement passed by Parliament. , the US recognized Greece ‘s interest in the F-35 “. “The plan we have drawn up for the overall reinforcement of the Armed Forces” includes the acquisition of F-35s, but in the future, “he added.

“We are doing what is necessary to strengthen the deterrent power of our Armed Forces as a whole and to discourage such behaviors and aspirations and intrigues from wherever they come from,” he said.

Finally, regarding the request for the upgrade of the Turkish F-16, Mr. Panagiotopoulos expressed “serious doubts if it is approved by the US legislatures, ie the Congress and the Senate”. “The road to acquiring or upgrading F-16s as requested by the Turkish side is long and uncertain,” he added.

Regarding the possibility of acquiring F-35s from Turkey, he noted that “the Americans could not accept the simultaneous acquisition of F-35s and S-400s and insist on this decision”. “So this case has a long future and will depend on the overall behavior of the Turks,” he added.

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Source: Capital

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