Greece to have 18 Rafales from France

As per reports, French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis have reached an agreement for France to provide Athens with 10 new Rafale within the latest F3R standard. Another 8 Rafale of an older standard (not specified, presumably F2 or F3), are going to be taken from the French air force to be donated, and not sold, to Greece. This suggests Greece will have one full squadron of 18 Rafale jets. 

Rafale fighter jet

This is often a huge development and comes after France decided to lend Greece two state-of-the-art frigates. the 2 French FREMM frigates, named “Alsace” and “Lorraine” are currently within the end of testing and have state-of-the-art area defense systems. War of words has broken between the three nations with Turkey using an increasingly aggressive tone against Greece and France. 

BACKGROUND

Turkey and Greece, NATO members that also are traditional rivals. The 2 countries locked during a decades-long dispute as they compete for control of oil and gas reserves within the Eastern Mediterranean. Turkey on August 10 deployed the Oruc Reis research vessel and an escorting flotilla of warships to the waters between Cyprus and therefore the Greek islands of Kastellorizo and Crete. The vessel's stay within the contested waters has been extended 3 times . Greece responded by staging naval exercises with several EU allies and therefore the United Arab Emirates, shortly from where Turkey conducted its maneuvers between Cyprus and Crete. there's a growing uneasiness within the region due to the real probability that a conflict could escape 

TURKEY'S SHIFTING POSITION

With President Erdgon solidifying power, Turkey has been moving faraway from NATO. This came to the fore with the S-400 defense deal. S-400 Triumph is an anti-aircraft weapon developed by Russia’s Almaz Central Design Bureau within the 1990s as an upgrade of the S 300 family. it's been in commission with the Russian soldiers since 2007. it's considered one among the foremost powerful defense systems within the world. due to its capabilities, S-400 has the potential to vary the tactical balance during a region. 

In July 2017, Turkey reportedly signed the deal to accumulate the S-400 defense system from Russia. It took delivery of the S-400 in July. This year. This was done against strong opposition by the U.S and NATO Several important people have expressed reservation when it involves F-35 sells to Turkey if it acquired S-400 United States Army Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti, the top folks forces in Europe, told a Senate Armed Services Committee, “My best military advice would be that we do not then follow through with the F-35, flying it or working with an ally that's working with Russian systems, particularly air-defense systems, with what i might say is perhaps one among most advanced technological capabilities.” 

NATO Allied Air Commander Gen. Tod Wolters had stated, “Anything that an S-400 can do this affords it the power to raised understand a capability just like the F-35 is never to the advantage of the coalition.” Turkey was one among the most partner nations when it involves the F-35 program but due to the S-400 deal, it had been eventually removed and is not any longer liable for F -35 manufacturing, neither will it receive the jets which it had ordered. 

THE DASSAULT RAFALE

The Dassault Rafale is a French twin-engine, canard-delta wing, multirole fighter equipped with a good range of weapons. Rafale literally meaning "gust of wind", and "burst of fire" during a more military sense. it's intended to perform air supremacy, interdiction, aerial reconnaissance, ground support, in-depth strike, anti-ship strike and deterrence missions. The Rafale is mentioned as an "omnirole" aircraft by Dassault. The aircraft is out there in three main variants: Rafale C single-seat land-based version, Rafale B twin-seat land-based version, and Rafale M single-seat carrier-based version. Rafale is one among the foremost sophisticated 4.5 generation fighters and is extremely on the brink of a 5th generation one. 

The capabilities are as follows: 

  1. The Rafale is fitted with two Snecma M88 engines, each capable of providing up to 50 kilonewtons (11,000 pounds-force) of dry thrust and 75 kN (17,000 pounds-force) with afterburners. this permits the jet to supercruise at Mach 1.4. 
  2. The thrust to weight ratio one among the simplest within the category - almost like Eurofighter Typhoon but better than F 35s. This makes it a superb dogfighter. 
  3. It's sensor fusion - that's unlike a typical 4th generation fighter and more sort of a 5th generation one - Rafale has the power to process all the info from different sensors and present it in single a screen enabling the pilot enabling take quick and accurate actions. 
  4. Dassault Rafale is fitted with an RBE2-AA radar system which is a lively electronically scanned array (AESA) radar system derived from the Rafale's RBE2 radar. The radar is reported to deliver a detection range of greater than 200 km or 125 miles for a fighter-sized target and has improved reliability. 
  5. As per French combat doctrine, Rafale is predicted to maneuver into heavily defended air space without having enemy air defenses to be degraded first. For this, Rafale features an integrated defensive-aids system named SPECTRA, which protects the aircraft against airborne and ground threats. Various methods of detection, jamming, and decoying are incorporated. this is often considered one among the simplest within the world. it's to be noted that 30% of the value of the whole aircraft has been dedicated to the radar and self-protection equipment. 
  6. Although not really a aircraft , the Rafale was designed for a reduced radar cross-section (RCS) and infrared signature. so as to scale back the RCS, changes from the initial technology demonstrator include a discount within the size of the tail-fin, fuselage reshaping, repositioning of the engine air inlets underneath the aircraft's wing, and therefore the extensive use of composite materials and serrated patterns for the development of the trailing edges of the wings and canards. 
  7. The fighter features a range of 1,850 km or 1,150 mi, 1,000 nmi with 3 drop tanks. This enables the fighter to carry out long-distance missions. 8. The Rafale is typically outfitted with 14 hardpoints except for the 'M' variant which has 13. It has an external load capacity of 9 tons enabling it to carry out a decent weapons load. 

ANALYSIS

As per government sources, Greek and France will further consolidate their ties with a broader framework of cooperation. The French leader Emmanuel Macron seems to taking up a leading role in European affairs and has become Greece’s strongest ally, while also being one of the hardest critics of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdo─čan. Rafale will be added to their existing fleet of Lockheed F-16 Fighting Falcons, Dassault Mirage 2000s, and McDonnell-Douglas F-4 Phantom II in the Greece Air Force The battle in the Eastern Mediterranean with the reward of several billion dollars worth of oil and gas fields will be fought mainly with fighter jets and warships. 

In all probability, the nation with gains air supremacy first will likely come out on top. This is where Rafale will be vital. Rafale is likely to be a game-changer for Greece and will tilt the balance in its favor since Turkey will have less potent F-16s to oppose it in case conflict breaks out. 

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