Greece has signed deals worth some $4.4 billion to buy three navy frigates and six additional Rafale fighter jets from France, as Athens strengthens its armed forces in response to tension with neighboring Turkey.
Defense ministers Nikos Panagiotopoulos of Greece and France's Florence Parly attended the signing ceremony on the eve of Greece's national day, on board a 112-year-old battleship that is currently a floating museum. The three FDI-class French frigates will be delivered by 2026. The agreement signed on Thursday includes an option to purchase a fourth frigate at a later date. The six new Rafale jets, to be built by France's Dassault Aviation, were added to an earlier order of 18 Rafales.
Parly was in Greece as a build up of NATO naval forces in the Mediterranean was happening amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. French jets involved in the deal will take part in a military parade in Athens on Friday.