F-16 Shoots Down Greece’s $6B Eurofighter Typhoon Order
After scrapping a EUR 4.9 billion deal with EADS for 60 Eurofighter Typhoon fighters, Greece’s center-right government announced that it has decided to buy 30 Lockheed Martin F-16 C/D jets from the U.S. instead, with an option for 10 more. The order for the aircraft and accompanying equipment and weapons would cost up to $3.1 billion if all options are exercised, and is designed to address the nation’s air defense needs over the next 15 years. The jets would join 50 F-16C/D Block 50/52 aircraft already in service with the Hellenic Air Force (EPA, or Elliniki Polemiki Aeroporia in Greek) under a 2000 contract. The new contract’s exact figures will depend on negotiations, and will include industrial offset benefits and support for the rest of the F-16s Block 52s and earlier models belonging to the EPA.
The deal is another blow to the Eurofighter’s export campaign. The Typhoon was recently bounced from Singapore’s future fighter competition in favor of Dassault’s Rafale or Boeing’s F-15E Strike Eagle [the eventually F-15 won]. Greece’s traditional rival Turkey had also expressed some interest in the Eurofighter earlier this year, before signing a $1.1 billion contract in May to upgrade its own F-16 fleet to a Block 50+ equivalent instead. Nevertheless, the Greek market is not completely closed to EADS.
“Our next order for fourth-generation jets will be reviewed by another military council meeting. It does not exclude any company from Europe or the U.S.,” said defense ministry spokesman Stefanos Gikas.
The modern fighter backbone of the
While no company is excluded from the next new 30-40 plane fighter contract in 2009, the 3rd generation F-16 fighter aircraft is unlikely to be eligible under those criteria. Even so, Eurofighter manufacturer EADS could still end up competing with cheaper 4th Generation options like the JAS 39 Gripen, the Russian Sukhoi SU-30 family, an offer for Greece to match its rival Turkey as a participating nation in the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter program, or even an F-15E Strike Eagle variant or F/A-18E/F Super Hornet order if those upgraded American jets are declared eligible. The global fighter market to 2015 is expected to be a lively place.
See “Greek F-16 & Weapons Sale Taking Off” for coverage on ongoing developments related to the F-16 sale.
July 25/06: The speculation was wrong. The Greek Government Council for Foreign Affairs and Defence (KYSEA) has approved a EUR 11.39 billion procurement program for 2006-2010… and new fighters aren’t on the list at all. The next tranche has been put off until 2011-2015, and
DID’s coverage suggests that it may be delayed beyond even that period. Will Turkey’s commitment to buy 100 F-35As change that equation? Maybe.
Oct 25/05: The US Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) formally notifies Congress [PDF format] of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Greece of 40 F-16C/D Block 50/52+ aircraft, as well as associated electronics, spares, services, and weapons. The total value, if all options are exercised, could be as high as $3.1 billion and include up to:
- 40 F-16C/D Block 50/52+ aircraft with F100-PW-229 engines and APG-68(V)9 radars (the deal is structured as 30 aircraft, with an option for 10 more);
- 42 Joint Helmet Mounted Cueing Systems (JHMCS);
- 40 AN/AVS-9 Generation III Aviation Night Vision Goggles;
- 190 LAU-129/A Launchers;
- 48 Link-16 Multifunctional Information Distribution System-Low Volume Terminals (MIDS-LVT);
- 3 Link-16 Ground Stations;
- 10 LANTIRN Targeting pods (previous-generation equipment – many air forces now use LITENING pods, Sniper XR, or ATFLIR);
- 11 Reconnaissance pods;
- 2 Reconnaissance Ground Stations;
- 40 APX-113 Advanced Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) systems;
- 43 AN/ALQ-187 Advanced Self-Protection Integrated Suites;
- 6 spare F100-PW-229 engines;
- 3 APG-68(V)9 spare radar sets;
- 4 AGM-154C Joint Standoff Weapons;
- 6 Joint Direct Attack Munitions (JDAM with 3 BLU-10 and 3 MK-84 bomb bodies);
- 4 Wind Compensated Munitions Dispenser (GPS/INS-guided cluster bombs);
DID offers full coverage. The first fighter was handed over on March 13/09.