Greek Gov’t Signs $500 Mln Contract With U.S. Company for Modernization of P-3B Orion Planes



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The leftist led Greek government has signed its first major armament deal with the U.S. contractor Lockheed Martin for the modernization of five aged naval support jets. The deal, worth 500 million dollars, is the first major deal in the last 10 years and was signed after the recommendation of Defense Minister and coalition government junior partner Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos. The agreement was also signed by Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias, Alternate Minister of Citizen Protection Giannis Panousis as well as Alternate Economy, Infrastructure, Maritime and Tourism Minister Thodoris Dritsas.

According to the Greek Sunday newspaper Proto Thema that published the story first, the SYRIZA-led government has already authorized a down payment of 45 million dollars to the U.S. colossal multinational company as a first installment so that the upgrade can begin. The deal comes at a time when state coffers are running low, while speculation over whether Greece will manage to pay its next installment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the coming Thursday, April 9, as well as pensions and public sector wages is topping Greek and international media.

The modernization plan is a 7-year program and includes the maintenance and support of five of the six P-3B Orion turbo-prop aircraft granted to Greece by the United States during 1991 and 1992. The Greek government hopes to extend their life span for another 15,000 flight hours. They had been in the service of the Hellenic Navy until 2009 but were withdrawn as their modernization had been considered too costly.

It should be noted that Mr. Dritsas, who is among those signing the agreement, was a fierce critic of weapons expenditures during the past years, when New Democracy and PASOK were in power. The deal has caused the reaction of opposition parties and especially of the centrist To Potami and its leader Stavros Theodorakis. “Two hundred million euros for dealing with the humanitarian crisis but 500 million dollars for arms,” Mr. Theodorakis is quoted as saying in regards to the contract. “It is the largest weapons program over the last years, at a time when the economic crisis is at its worst and state funds are literally empty,” he added, recalling the outrage that SYRIZA Maritime Minister Thodoris Dritsas showed when his party was in opposition, and when referring to defense related expenditures for the 2015 state budget.


3 COMMENTS

  1. lol you are full of prejudices, mate do you even live in Greece ?

    Who cares that we call them Macedonia, everybody except do call them like that anyway and yes i know that the ancient macedonians were ethnic greeks just like everybody does.

    Thats basicly the 4th Turkish army that is bored and searches something to do

    not really, infact most Turks would love the idea of a hellenic turkic federation

  2. “everybody except do call them like that anyway”

    Indeed. Many Grekshave a problem with those that disingenuously downplays Skopje’s recent bizarre attempt to usurp our identity, Or act like they don’t notice Skopje manipulating name to promote irredentism. The unethical evasions of o many foreign nationalists on this issue is a major factor at to why their is rising hostility towards foreigners.

    This represents an act of aggression against Greece (literally an attempt to ethnic cleanse Greece by trying to delete our very identity) I believe one by one Greece should retaliate against any foreign nationalist that lobby for Skopje. If its on national level, we should undermine their countries on national level. (like Turkey at the moment that plays dumb as Skopians attempt to narrate themselves into ancient Macedonians)

    Neutrals I can understand. We all have our own problems. We can’t be drawn into everyone else’s problems. Skopje supporters on the other hand – engaged in act of war against Greece. All options should be on the table (including use of force). We have a right to defend ourselves against attempts to ethnic cleanse Greeks.

  3. “infact most Turks would love the idea of a hellenic turkic federation”

    You live in alternate universe. Most Turks vote for Islamofascist Erdogan who is literally trying to ethnically exterminate Greeks vis-a-vis using Skopje as proxy to delete our very identity.

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