The Greek Air Force, thanks to its F-16 Viper and RAFALE fighters and its excellent pilots, dominates the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.
With the arrival of the 13th F16 VIPER fighter aircraft at the 115th Fighter Wing in Souda, we have the creation of the first Air Force Squadron with aircraft of this type 343 "Star", media sources report.
With the completion of the F-16 upgrade programme to VIPER level and the reinforced 332 "Falcon" Squadron with 24 Rafale F3Rs, the fighters exchanging network-centric data via Link 16 and AESA radar will total 108. A significant force with many additional assets offered by the multitude of sensors they carry.
As the spearhead of the Greek Air Force, the F-16 Viper is expected to undertake a wide variety of wartime roles, from air combat over the disputed Aegean Sea to real-time tactical reconnaissance, with long-range strikes over ground or water with a range of precision weapons.
Also, the Link 16 system makes the Air Force absolutely dominant; Greece is modernizing its Block 50 warplanes with components from the Block 52+ aircraft upgraded to the Block 70 configuration
In the ground attack category, the Greek Air Force has become one of the few air forces-perhaps the only one-that equips its Vipers versions with dual launchers for the AGM-154 and JSOW as well.
The ability of the Greek F-16 to carry four JSOWs thanks to the BRU-57/A carrier will ensure that it can bring to bear a very significant long-range strike capability in the Aegean theatre and elsewhere.
The main systems being upgraded as part of the US-based Lockheed Martin's programme, in partnership with the Hellenic Aircraft Industry (HIA), include the following:
- AESA APG-83 radar
- New Modular Mission Computer (MMC-7000AH), ADT
- New information and display screens between the gunships
- New APX-126 AIFF with mod 5 capability
- Integration of SNIPER POD, SASSM and PaveWay II missiles
- Link-16 capability
The F-16 upgrades are being carried out at the Naval Air Force under the close technical guidance of Lockheed Martin teams.
The EAB personnel working on the F-16 Viper program consists of a core team of more than 21 experienced employees, and dozens of new employees have been recruited and trained so far during four different phases.
The upgrade of all 83 Air Force F-16 aircraft to Viper is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2027.