Aviation Safety

F-35 Acquisition, Broader Reforms, and Strategic Implications

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Greece's military leadership has announced significant reforms, particularly within its air force. Plans include retiring older combat aircraft and acquiring advanced F-35 stealth jets. However, Greece is adopting a cautious approach, opting to wait for upgraded Block 4 F-35s to address potential technical issues.

Defense Minister Nikos Dendias emphasized Greece's intention to acquire Block 4 F-35s with the latest upgrades. However, these upgrades are currently unavailable due to concurrency problems in the program. The F-35 Joint Program Office and Lockheed Martin have identified high-risk concurrency in the Block 4 schedule, potentially threatening aircraft production if development slips.

The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter has entered full-rate production, but deliveries are on hold pending the implementation of Tech Refresh-3 elements. These upgrades are crucial for Block 4 upgrades, providing increased processing power and enhanced capabilities. US Air Force leadership has also highlighted the need for these upgrades to maintain competitiveness.

The ongoing challenges have delayed Block 4 upgrades to 2029 from the original 2026 plan. The number of new capabilities in the Block 4 upgrades has increased, along with the cost. Greece's decision to wait for the resolution of technical issues aligns with its broader military reforms, which aim to modernize and enhance its Armed Forces.

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May 21, 2023 | 05:09