Greek-Turkish Relations
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Undisputed Greek air dominance: A Rafale defeated the F-22 Raptor in an exercise - French fighters are power multipliers

The Rafale aircraft of the 114th Fighter Wing are considered the aircraft that will put the Aegean Guards into a new era. Its name in Greek translates to "gust of wind", a designation that perfectly matches its thunderous action in the skies and on the field of operations.

More or less the types of American-origin fighters are similar in Greece and Turkey, so the presence of French fighters, first with the Mirage F1, then with the acquisition of the more advanced 3rd and 4th generation versions of the Mirage 2000 fighters, has been estimated to give an advantage in the Aegean.

This is because the French fighter in question is an aircraft that the other side does not "know".

The creators of the Rafale, claim that their fighter, although it cannot be described as purely stealth, something that is currently attributed to the American F-35 and F-22 fighters of which only the first is exported outside the US ( increasingly close to being acquired by Greece), has many elements that make it difficult to detect such as external construction materials, special design of the air intake for the engines, etc.

Indicative of its capability is that, in an allied forces exercise a Rafale had the Raptor able to achieve a positive lock with a valid missile shot if engaged in an actual air battle.

Flying for the first time in 1997, the F-22 Raptor is the pinnacle of tactical fighter dominance from the air.

It is explicitly designed to shoot down other aircraft and is supposed to be the best at what it does. While it is universally recognized as the premier air-to-air platform in the skies today, it is not invincible. No aircraft has been lost to enemy action, but simulated dogfights against allied pilots have proven that the Raptor can indeed be shot down.

Specifically, in 2009 pilots from the U.S. Air Force's 1st Fighter Wing based at Langley Air Force Base in Virginia flew to Al Dhafra, United Arab Emirates, to train with their French and British counterparts. The British were in Eurofighter Typhoons, while the French pilots flew Dassault Rafales.

At the end of the exercises, the US Air Force claimed that the F-22 was virtually undefeated, with six wins and five draws, although it was defeated by an Emirati Air Force Mirage 2000.

The French Ministry of Defence responded with HUD footage showing that, a Rafale had the Raptor able to achieve a positive lock with a valid missile shot if engaged in a real air battle. In this video posted on a French aviation blog, you can hear the French pilot call "Fox 2", meaning he achieved a valid position for a Mica IR missile launch.

One can understand why the Turks seem particularly worried, as more than a few are reporting that the French fighters the Greek Air Force is acquiring are outclassed by the Turkish F-16s, as they are 4th generation aircraft.

If we compare the Turkish Air Force's F-16s, which are 3rd generation aircraft, with the Rafale, we understand that they will create some differences, as they will be technologically superior since they are 4th generation aircraft. To put it more simply, its radar is superior because of its range and capabilities, it will have new generation weapons that you launch, they steer themselves and you forget about them, and the missiles it will carry will also give the aircraft an advantage.

So as the balance of power in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean evolves, the Turks are basing their counter to the Greek Rafale and F-16 Viper on the domestically produced missiles they are developing.

Ankara knows that if the Greek Rafale and the F-16 Viper take off, then the Turkish fighters will not be able to escape in the Aegean, because of the range of the missiles that the Rafale has.

The combination of upgrading the existing Greek F-16 fleet (according to Lockheed Martin, Greece will then have the most advanced F-16s in Europe) combined with the completion of the acquisition of the French Rafale will give Greece a remarkable qualitative advantage and ensure the dominance of the Air Force in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.


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