10 November, 2005
Defence Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos on Wednesday provided explanations to the Parliamentary Defence Committee on the new purchase by Greece of U.S.-built F-16 warplanes.
"For the first time in the history of weaponry systems orders there will be an aircraft that will be ready upon delivery, which will enter the Aegean ready to confront threats and ready to receive the most modern weapons which we shall choose," the defence minister said.
Spiliotopoulos attributed the option of the purchase of the U.S. warplanes to the relevant decision taken by the Government Defence and Foreign Affairs Committee (KYSEA), following proposals by the Supreme Military Council for this warplane to be chosen and replace tens of aircraft of the air force which are being withdawn due to age.
The minister reiterated, commenting on contrary reports in the press, that the price of the main equipment of each aircraft will not exceed 1.1 billion euros and, in any case, they will cost cheaper than the F-16s purchased in 2000 by the then PASOK government.
Source: Athens News Agency