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21 May, 2024
 
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Another senator on board with F35 deal for Greeks

F-35 deal closer within reach after another senator adds last signature needed before deal can move forward

Kathimerini Greece Newsroom

US Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, has approved the sale of Lockheed Martin Corp’s F-35 fighter jets to Greece, adding the last signature needed before the deal can go through, Hellas Journal reported on Thursday.

The deal was green-lighted by the committee’s chair, US Senator Bob Menendez, in February, and has also secured the approval of Republican co-chair Michael McCaul and of Gregory Meeks, the ranking Democrat on the committee.

The first installment for the supply of the fifth-generation F-35 fighters is expected to amount to €350 million, following deductions from the final price of the US-engineered aircraft

Now that the consensus of all four officials has been obtained, the US government will formally notify Congress of the sale of F-35s to Greece, and from there, the prescribed procedure for the ratification of the defense contract will be followed.

As Kathimerini has earlier reported, the issue of the sale of the F-35 jets to Greece is proceeding with the delivery of the first aircraft between 2028 and 2033, despite the fact that a Letter of Acceptance (LOA) is still expected from the US side.

The first installment for the supply of the fifth-generation F-35 fighters is expected to amount to €350 million, following the finalization of the deduction of the so-called SSI (security, supply, information) from the final price of the US-engineered aircraft.

Cost estimates can be relatively accurate based on fixed characteristics, such as the number of a total of 20 F-35As that the Hellenic Air Force will take delivery of between 2028 and 2033.

​​​​​​The procedure followed for the approval of defense contracts entails the US State Department first informally sounding out Congress with the proposed sale. Although not bound by the process, the administration is accustomed to taking Congress’ opinion seriously and thus avoiding openly confronting it on the approval of defense contracts. It is precisely at this stage that the F-16 upgrade that Turkey has been trying to achieve up to this point has stalled.

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Cyprus  |  Greece  |  F35  |  Turkey

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