Greece agreed to transfer Soviet air defense systems to Ukraine: what is in the arsenal
The US State Department has approved the sale of modern F-35 fighters to Greece for $8.6 billion. This, in turn, can play a role in strengthening Ukraine's air defense.
The Greek army, after receiving the new fighters, may provide Ukraine with Soviet air defense systems. This was reported by the Kathimerini newspaper.
It is worth noting that in the near future, an agreement between the United States and Greece will allow Athens to receive 40 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and related equipment. The American fighters will replace the F-4 Phantom, which this year celebrated 50 years of service in Greece.
The F-35 will open up new operational opportunities for the Greek army. At the same time, it will free up Soviet-style air defense systems that are still in service in Greece.
According to preliminary data, the political and military leadership of Greece has already given the necessary instructions to transfer outdated systems and equipment that will no longer be used by the Greek army to Ukraine. However, it should be borne in mind that there has been no official statement from the authorities on the transfer of air defense systems to the Ukrainian army.
According to open sources, Greece may have 12 units of S-300 air defense missile systems in service. The army also has more than 20 units of Tor-M1 air defense systems. In addition, open sources contain information about the presence in Greece of 38 "Osa" anti-aircraft missile systems, most of which have been modernized into the "Osa-AK" / "Osa-AKM".
It should also be borne in mind that the transfer of F-35 fighters to Greece will require fundamental changes in the Air Force at the organizational and operational levels. Preparations will include training of flight and technical personnel, as well as training of specialists to maintain the new fighter jet's performance. Obviously, all these processes will take a lot of time, so there is no specific timeframe or number of air defense systems that Ukraine can receive.
As a reminder, the administration of US President Joe Biden has approved the sale of F-16 fighters to Turkey for $23 billion and F-35s to Greece for $8 billion. The deal includes 40 F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter aircraft and related equipment.
Earlier it was reported that the United States was interested in the defense potential of Greece, which it could transfer to Ukraine. In particular, Washington offered Athens $200 million in exchange for the transfer or sale of weapons to Kyiv.