HAF has officially received its first Dassault Rafale combat aircraft

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HAF has officially received its first Dassault Rafale combat aircraft
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Hellenic Air Force (HAF) received its first French Rafale F3R aircraft with a formal handover ceremony held at Dassault Aviation Flight Test Centre in Istres Merignac Air Base. The Greek Defence Minister Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Chief of General Staff Konstantinos Floros and Commander of HAF Georgios Blioumis, and the President and CEO of Dassault Aviation, Éric Trappier, attended the ceremony.

The first Rafale-B is delivered on 21 July, one of the 12-second hand (10 B-model single-seater and two C-model twin seaters) Rafale F3R aircraft in service in the French Air and Space Force. HAF will also receive six new build fighters by 2023.

News of the delivery comes six months after Greece and France signed a contract for 18 Rafales configured to the latest F3R standard, valued at an estimated EUR1.92 billion (USD2.35 billion).

HAF has officially received its first Dassault Rafale combat aircraft

A separate EUR400 million deal was also signed to purchase MBDA Meteor beyond-visual-range air-to-air missiles (BVRAAMs) and to upgrade missiles in the HAF inventory, namely Mica air-to-air missiles, Scalp cruise missiles, and Exocet anti-ship missiles, for carriage by the Rafales.

The aircraft handed over to the HAF in July is a former French single-seat Rafale B F3R fighter. As noted by Dassault, this aircraft and the next five from the French inventory will be used to train HAF pilots and technicians in France. The aircraft will stay in France for crew training. One fighter will be delivered to HAF each month until December when the 1st six aircraft will be deployed to Tanagra Air Base

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