According to two different sources, Greece is expecting to receive a preliminary acceptance letter from the United States next week regarding its request to procure F-35 fighter jets. The news, disclosed to Reuters on Friday, suggests that the Greek defense minister is poised to receive the draft letter on Monday, marking a significant step forward in the procurement process.
In June 2022, Greece formally submitted a request to the United States for the acquisition of 20 F-35 fighter jets manufactured by Lockheed Martin. Securing approval for this request is deemed pivotal within the multi-stage procurement procedure. The anticipated timeline suggests that Athens is eyeing the commencement of jet deliveries between 2027 and 2028.
As a NATO member, Greece allocates over 2% of its gross domestic product towards defense expenditure. In recent years, the country has bolstered its military acquisitions, partly in response to renewed tensions with its neighbor and historical rival, Turkey, also a NATO ally.
On Wednesday, U.S. President Joe Biden communicated his intention to initiate the formal notification process for the sale of Lockheed Martin F-16 aircraft to Turkey. This communication to key committees in Capitol Hill underscores the condition that the sale would proceed following Ankara’s completion of the NATO accession process with Sweden.