The latest “blow” for Ankara is the entry of Greece and the Air Force into the F-35 5th generation Stealth fighter program, from which Turkey was excluded precisely because of its obsession with acquiring the S-400.
“Turkey’s real problem is obviously not the Greek S-300s but the fact that the gap between the Hellenic Air Force and the TuAF is constantly widening with the next few years signaling complete dominance of the HAF not only over the Aegean but over the whole of the Athens FIR and even further”. This is the basic explanation given by military sources as well as those familiar with the image prevailing in the air for the escalating Turkish provocation of the last few weeks with Ankara having withdrawn the Russian-made anti-aircraft missiles that the Hellenic Armed Forces have in their arsenal and the alleged ” stranding’ of Turkish F-16s in a major issue. And they are attempting to involve NATO in an effort to equate the Greek S-300s – everyone within the Alliance knows they ended up in Greece and Crete – with the Turkish S-400s.
The last “blow” for Ankara, “the last straw” as assessed by the Ministry of National Defense and the Greek Staff is the entry of Greece and the Air Force into the 5th generation F-35 Stealth fighter program from which Turkey was excluded precisely because of its obsession with acquiring the S-400. After all, this is demonstrated by Tayyip Erdoğan’s related speech yesterday.
The ten-year economic crisis that hit Greece gave the neighbors the illusion that the “blue” wings would be fixed and the TuAF would “get a head”, but the Air Force not only endured but now with complete “afterburn” in its engines and many ” mach’ speed is constantly widening the gap. The first images from the tests of the next six Rafale – these are new fighters – over the Merignac Base in France which the HAF expects by the end of the year are another “stab” in Turkish arrogance. The 6 Rafale which are already flying over the Aegean will soon become 12 and will end up at 24, giving the Greek “wings” additional power since they will have much more modern fighters than those of their neighbors. While the “jump” will be completed with the inclusion of 83 upgraded Vipers in the Fighter Squadrons, but in the next phase all 38 F-16 block 50s will also be modernized.
And if today the Greek pilots easily “lock” the Turkish aircraft on their radars and weapons, as the neighbors themselves admitted that happened recently near Kastelorizo, even the uninitiated can perceive the continuity with the integration of the Rafale and of Vipers in the HAF arsenal. It is therefore obvious that the last thing that concerns the Turkish air force is the Greek S-300s, which they are focusing on purely for blackmailing the US. As they battle to unblock the sale of new F-16 fighters. As aviation sources emphatically emphasize, even if the Greek Armed Forces decommission the Russian missiles, nothing is going to change in sovereignty over the Aegean.