France and Greece sign decisive military pacts – Kashmir Reader

Greece is doing all of this because of its acrimonious feud with Turkey.
If he had had neighbors like Switzerland, he would have spent more on education and health.

Power dynamics are changing in the eastern Mediterranean. The Greek Parliament concluded in October 2021 a military agreement of several billion euros with France. This agreement could decide the long-term regional security context.
The Defense Pact includes critical improvements for the Hellenic Navy through a major partnership with the French Navy. This agreement could even have major strategic implications for the EU as a whole, and may even have an impact on the transatlantic region.
Negotiations to modernize the Hellenic Navy had been going on for some time. Athens initially rejected the takeover of the Belharra FDI (Defense and Intervention Frigate) in August 2020, while the initial French offer was deemed expensive. Paris apparently revised its proposal, offering more favorable terms, then pushed for a quick seal of the deal. This could become a major step in the expansion of the French defense industry. At the same time, it also sends a clear signal to the United States that the European powers could be just as competitive in the sale of their military technology.
The Hellenic forces have long relied on the Elli-class frigates (standard type) designed and built in the Netherlands and the German-designed and partially-built Meko-200HN-class frigates, which entered service in the early 1980s. and during the 1990s, respectively. These frigates have been the subject of a few occasional modernization programs, but overall the Hellenic weaponry has gradually become obsolete, making a drastic and extensive upgrade imperative.
A joint partnership between Naval Group, Thales and MBDA will significantly improve the capabilities of the Hellenic Navy. Greece is expected to acquire at least three frigates, with another possibly being added to the massive purchase. The first ship would be delivered to the Hellenic Navy by the end of 2024 or the beginning of 2025. Article 2 of the partnership stipulates that the two men will help each other “with all the means at their disposal, in case a force army would be needed, if they both found that an attack was taking place on either territory. ‘
Greece also had another sweeping deal with France in January 2021, where Athens would buy eighteen Dassault Rafale fighter jets designed and built by France. They will be delivered gradually from late 2021 to early 2023, and fully integrated into a model of navy-air force cooperation, thus increasing Greece’s military footprint.
Greece is doing all of this because of its acrimonious feud with Turkey. If he had had neighbors like Switzerland, he would have spent more on education and health.
Tensions with Turkey peaked in the summer of 2020. France sent naval forces to help Greece’s aging fleet of eleven frigates patrol its sea areas. The two countries have since organized joint and multilateral air and maritime exercises in the Aegean Sea and the Eastern Mediterranean. In September 2021, Greece lodged an official complaint with Turkey regarding the alleged harassment of the Nautical Geo, a Maltese-flagged hydrographic vessel. They even came close to going to war for the Imia islets in the Aegean Sea in 1996 and for oil and gas exploration in 1987.
The East Med pipeline has angered Turkey, which has its own energy ambitions in the Eastern Mediterranean. Since 2018, he has sent investigative vessels to find gas fields in what Greece and Cyprus consider their maritime jurisdiction.
Despite considerable gaps in technology and equipment, the Hellenic Navy has had a good reputation over the past decade. This, however, should not overestimate the advancement of Turkish defense technology, with its ongoing projects such as the MILGEM, or National Ship Project, which is an initiative of the Defense Industries Presidency, fully supported by the Turkish President. and the highest officials of the state. , for the creation of innovative defense technologies and equipment in virtual self-sufficiency. In addition, there is the Multipurpose Amphibious Assault Ship (LHD) TCG Anadolu, currently under construction at the Sedef Shipyard, which will significantly increase Turkish naval capabilities.
Strategically, what could become problematic for Greece in the years to come is that Turkey has extended its unmanned naval capabilities, with most importantly the ULAQ AUSV, a project developed by ARES Shipyard and Meteksan Savunma. This new technology could revolutionize naval warfare in the future.
Since Ankara played a military role in the Libyan civil war in October 2019, Turkish-French relations have also deteriorated. France sees Turkey as a rival of influence in North Africa, where it uses Bayraktar TB2 drones, equipped with a weapon capability, and which have turned the tide in Libya, or outside of South Africa. North, as in Nagorno-Karabakh. These advanced drones could also pose a formidable threat in the Aegean Sea. And surprisingly, seventy percent of Turkey’s equipment is made at home.
As a result, the strengthening of Greece’s political and military partnership in southern Europe will integrate the Greek Cypriot dynamic and other important local actors, such as Egypt and Israel.
For France, after the announcement of AUKUS, which ended with a major drawback, it can still play a major role in regional developments, outside the strict limits of NATO.
With the United States gradually diminishing the importance of NATO during the Trump era, it looks like the Biden administration will maintain this narrative to some extent through the AUKUS Pact. Regardless of this, the latest bilateral agreement between Paris and Athens stresses that strategic alliances at present should be guided by a more pragmatic and realistic approach, detached from the Cold War era.
Dr Ioannis Mazis, professor of economic geography and geopolitics at the National and Capodistrian University of Athens, also noted that Paris was even seeking to consolidate its defense, political and economic ties with India. This Franco-Indian rapprochement, if properly used by Athens, could prove to be vital for Greek strategic interests, and a significant gap in relation to the Turkish-Pakistani axis.

– The writer is the author of seven books and publisher of Globe Upfront. [email protected]

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