In the presence of Prime Minister Mr Kyriakos Mitsotakis and the Minister of National Defense Mr Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, the welcoming ceremony of the first six new generation fighter aircraft “ Rafale ” F 3 R took place at the facilities of the Hellenic AF 114th Battle Wing in Tanagra.
The ceremony was also attended by the Speaker of Parliament Mr Konstantinos Tassoulas, the Deputy Minister of National Defense Mr Nikolaos Hardalias, the Chief of General Staff General Konstantinos Floros, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mr Antonios Economos, Chief of General Staff (Chief) Chief of General Staff Lieutenant General Charalambos Lalousis and Chief of General Staff Rear Admiral Stylianos Petrakis PN.
Also present were the Minister of Citizen Protection Mr. Takis Theodorikakos , the Deputy Minister of Climate Change & Civil Protection Honorary A / GEA Mr. Evangelos Tournas, the Ambassador of the French Republic Mr. Patrick Maisonav ( representatives of the House of Representatives) of Regional and Local Government, retired Officers. agents of the domestic defense industry and Defense Attachés of foreign countries. The ceremony was officiated by His Eminence the Metropolitan of Thebes, Levadia and Avlida Mr. George.
“A historic big day for the Armed Forces, for the Air Force but for the 114th Battle Wing, here in Tanagra. A while ago we had the joy, the pride, the emotion to watch the landing of the first six ” Rafale ” Aircraft that our country procured from France.Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, Hellenic Minister of National Defense
About a year after the signing of the relevant contract, the first six ” Rafale ” with Greek colors on their wings and Greek pilots in the cockpits came to settle here, in the 114th Battle Wing, which for decades was I would say the historic headquarters of “Mirage” which were and still are operating in the ranks of the Air Force, to add the first six of the 24 total ” Rafale ” that will be supplied to the Air Force and to do what the CEO of “Dassault” who was present today at the ceremony, the difference in power correlations in the heavens.
It is truly a day when I am entitled to feel both proud and excited, but not satisfied because more needs to be done. The effort to shield Greece through the reinforcement of the Armed Forces continues and there is no room at all to rest. But I want to congratulate all those who contributed to this wonderful project to procure Greece a new type of state-of-the-art aircraft, with great capabilities, in such fast times. To many who worked hard and at unusual speeds under adversity, I would say conditions for a year and a little more from both the Greek and the French side. Political Leaderships of Ministries, Military Leaderships, Staffs, people who worked to get this end result so quickly.
Today here in Tanagra, in addition to the six aircraft, they are now in development and operational, operational readiness and all this network of ground support, with the infrastructure and the personnel, the ground technicians that are needed, so that the ” Rafale ” can now be fully integrated. in the ranks of the Air Force and from today onwards to be able to cover Greece, the territory, the Aegean, the airspace, with their weapons and their wings. Congratulations to everybody!”.