To Vima Exclusive: US Congressional Act backs Greek purchase of F-35 fighter planes, frigates
By Angelos Athanasopoulos
In a move, charged with weighty geopolitical significance that can lead to a further strategic upgrade of Greece in US geostrategic planning, Democratic Senator and Chairman of the Committee on Foreign Relations Bob Menendez today tabled an Act designed to further bolster US-Greece military cooperation.
According to information obtained exclusively by To Vima, the US-Greece Defense and Inter-Parliamentary Partnership Act of 2021 does not merely underline the significance of US-Greece military cooperation.
It calls for specific actions such as backing and approving a Greek purchase of 5th generation F-35 fighter jets [Lockheed Martin] and offering Greece loans to procure new weapons systems, which is exceptionally important as regards the upcoming purchase of the Hellenic Navy's new frigates.
Regarding a prospective future Greek purchase of F-35s, the Act calls for authorising the US President to expedite delivery of the order.
Moreover, the Act provides that the batch procured by Greece should include the eight F-35s that were slated for Turkey, which has since been excluded from the construction programme as a result of US sanctions stemming from Ankara's procurement of the Russian S-400 anti-missile system.
The Act acknowledges that Greece is a pillar of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and notes the importance of the "3+1" cooperation (between Greece, Israel, Cyprus, and the US) which now entails sectors such as energy but is to expand to include security and other issues.
It also provides for the feasibility of constructing new infrastructure at the crucial Souda Bay Base in Crete, as well as funding for infrastructure projects - such as ports and shipyards - from the US...