Dassault delivers first Rafale to Greece

Dassault Aviation has delivered the first Rafale fighter to the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) just six months after the contract signing by Greece for the acquisition of 18 aircraft in a €2.5bn deal.

In a ceremony at the company’s Aviation Flight Test Centre in Istres Dassault said the first aircraft, as well as the next five platforms to come from the French Air and Space Force, will train HAF pilots and technicians before deploying to Tanagra Air Force Base, near Athens, Greece.

Hellenic Air Force Rafale
Greece has a long history of operating French aircraft, with the Dassault Rafale now added to the list. Dassault Aviation/C Cosmao 

A first group of HAF pilots, already trained for several months by the French Space and Air Force, and 50 HAF technicians will join Dassault’s Aviation Conversion Training Center (CTC) in Mérignac, France to continue their training.

Dassault further stated the delivery was “a clear demonstration” of France’s determination to meet the Greek government’s expectations and illustrated the 45 years of cooperation between the company and the HAF, which has also previously operated the Mirage F1, Mirage 2000 and Mirage 2000-5 fighters.

“The Rafale is a strategic game changer for the HAF. It will play an active role by securing Greece's leadership as a major regional power," said Eric Trappier, CEO of Dassault Aviation.

The deal will see six new and 12 secondhand Rafale fighters delivered.