The United States Army announced on June 5, 2019, it has delivered 70 Bell OH-58D Kiowa Warrior armed scout helicopters and a single Boeing CH-47D Chinook to Greece.
The helicopters have been acquired by Greece as part of a US Government Excess Defense Articles (EDA) grant and were offloaded in the port of Volos on May 16, 2019.
The helicopters arrived in Greece just 16 months after the signing of a letter of offer and acceptance (LOA) between the two countries.
The helicopters will be used by the Elliniki Aeroporia Stratou (Hellenic Army Aviation) and had previously been stored at the 309th Aerospace Maintenance and Regeneration Group facility at Davis- Monthan Air Force Base in Arizona.
Dimitrios Arkoumanis, a Foreign Military Sales specialist for the Office of Defense Co-operation Greece, said: “This is the fastest turnaround for an EDA case that’ve I’ve seen in my 15 years working security assistance programmes. Typically, from a letter of request to the LOA takes about two years, this one was signed in 11 months.”
The helicopters will be used for establishing two operational aviation brigades within the Elliniki Aeroporia Stratou. After reassembly they were flown from Volos to the Army aviation base at Stefanovikio by US and Hellenic Army crews, where they will be used for training.
The total package, valued at $590 million, includes 36 fully operational OH-58Ds, 24 incomplete helicopters to be used for pilot training, ten airframes for spare parts and the single CH-47D Chinook. Nigel Pittaway