The messages may have been multiple and clear, but it was not only the international factor but also the geopolitical situation that forced Ankara and Tayyip Erdoğan to keep the floating drilling rig – at least at this stage – away from maritime areas of Greek Sovereign Rights and even outside the Cyprus EEZ.
The sultan, at the same time as the clear positions of the powerful who stood categorically against any attempt to increase the tension in the Eastern Mediterranean in the midst of the war in Ukraine, seems to have become the recipient of the correlation of power in the air between the Turkish air force and the “hawks” of HAF. With the TuAF Staffs not being able to hide from the Turkish president that not only over the Aegean but also overall in the area within the Athens FIR the advantage not only does not belong to them but on the contrary the Greek Air Force dominates with the prospect of make the gap even wider.
The barrage of violations of the last few days and the large number of fighter jets being taken off by the neighbors do not in any way worry the Greek Staff. It is quite another since they are valued as a desperate attempt by the Turkish air force to show that it has both availability and reflexes. But the truth is completely different. The acquisition of the first six French Rafale fighters – which by the end of the year will become twelve – but also the simultaneous gradual integration into the air fleet within the next months of the first upgraded F-16 Vipers have caused Ankara irritation bordering on panic.
With the Turkish pilots seeing that the clear quality superiority of the Greek falcons has already begun to be combined with a clear quality superiority in the flying means that the Hellenic Air Force will have. Without even having faced the French gusts of the 332 “Hawk” Squadron in the air, but also the first “Vipers” that come out of the hangars of the Greek Aviation Industry, the neighbors are daily subjected to continuous and humiliating “defeats” when they try to engage with the Greek “wings”.
When in the coming years they will have to deal with a total of 24 powerful Rafales as well as 83 upgraded Vipers they know that given the fighter fleet they have that is F-16 C/D aircraft without Aesa radar, the low availability and quality of the pilots they really will not have the slightest hope of survival against the HAF fighters and the Greek airmen.
And they may claim in Ankara that they have alternatives in order to equip and modernize their Air Force, but they know that any solution other than American fighters will be a huge risk with extremely dubious results. In fact, at a time when Greece is proceeding with rapid procedures in the acquisition of at least one squadron of F-35 Stealth fighters with an option for one more.
It was no coincidence that the near-simultaneous announcement that the Abdulhamid Han is drilling in Turkish waters with the announcement of the US sending an echelon which on August 15 will begin a new round of talks to convince Washington to sell Turkey 40 new F-16 fighter jets with the simultaneous modernization of another 80. Ankara is more than obvious that it has understood that the doctrine of the Blue Homeland is doomed to “sink” as long as the air advantage is in the blue wings. And in the next period he will do everything to overturn it.