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Greece and India to take next major step in strengthening defence ties in November

Source : Greek City Times

Greece and India to take next major step in strengthening defence ties in November
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) shakes hands with his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis after a meeting, at Maximos Mansion in Athens, Greece on August 25 during PM Modi’s official visit to Greece (AP News File Photo)

Greece and India to take next major step in strengthening defence ties in November

The next step to strengthen the bilateral relations between Greece and India at the defence level will be in November. The staff of the two countries have already started planning the visit of the Greek Chief of Defence Forces to New Delhi, a trip which, according to Kathimerini, will be combined with the presence of Greek fighter jets that will travel to India for the first time.

Athens positively values ​​the visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his important contacts with his Greek counterpart Kyriakos Mitsotakis and high-ranking government officials.

A priority for the Greek side is the intensification of economic cooperation with India, one of the world’s five fastest-growing economies. However, special importance is also attached to the defence relationship that has been systematically cultivated in recent months.

Joint training in India

According to sources, all possible dates and methods for sending Greek fighters to India are under consideration, either in the context of the participation of the Air Force in a planned exercise of the Indian Armed Forces or for the organisation of joint training on a bilateral level.

One of the exercises put under the “microscope” of the Greek Staff from the beginning is “Tarang Shakti”. It is a large-scale air exercise similar to the Greek “INIOCHOS” and is expected to occur between October and November.

However, since the preparation required to send aircraft over such a long distance and to bases unfamiliar to the Air Force is particularly complex, one of the scenarios Athens is considering is participating in the exercise with observers and sending fighter jets in the near future space for co-education on a bilateral level.

In fact, according to Air Staff sources, it is not excluded that the Rafale mission of the 332 “Hawk” Squadron will qualify as this type of fighter is also used by the Indian Air Force. It will be easier to service it at Indian airports, at least about the F-16s for which no similar infrastructure exists.

However, the Squadron will have to complete its final evaluation (FOC) by the Air Force Headquarters, which is expected to begin in September. GEA sources, however, state that all possibilities are still open.

“Rendezvous” at Bright Star 23

Greece and India, however, give a “rendezvous” at the large cross-sectoral exercise “Bright Star-23” organised by Egypt. The activities start on Thursday and end on September 14, with the Greek Armed Forces having a dynamic presence with the participation of all Branches.

According to the plan, F-16 jets, Apache attack helicopters, Navy frigates and tankers, Marines and Special Operations units will be flown to Egypt to participate in the “BrightStar” scenarios.

Thirty-four countries and 8,000 personnel are expected to “attend” one of the most important exercises in the Eastern Mediterranean, with the participation of the United States, Great Britain and India standing out.

This is the second time in 2023 that Indian fighter jets are repositioning and training in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region, which reflects New Delhi’s increased interest in the region’s geopolitical balances.

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