Greek crisis to hurt Hellenic Air Force
Greece’s most¬†devestating financial crisis in modern times and the¬†growing possibility of a default on its loans have not only¬†progressed its rating from Germany-level credit to average, on to junk, below junk and now to¬†likely default, but also have begun to dramatically limit and even reduce its military capabilities. The damage is especially stark among the ranks of the Hellenic Air Force (HAF).
Here’s a brief list of probable changes to HAF:
- Vintage A-7E and TA-7C¬†s are¬†all to be¬†retired before 2013 due to high maintenance costs.
- Two squadrons of F-4E AUPs will be merged into one squadron.
- RF-4E¬†recon aircraft are¬†to be withdrawn in late 2012 while 6 will be kept for use with the 3 Thales ASTAC SIGINT pods. Recon ops to be transferred to the F-16 Block 52+’s with the 2 Goodrich DB-110 pods.
- Mirage 2000s face¬†possible operational cuts due to small size of fleet.
- T-2 Buckeyes¬†are very¬†likely to be withdrawn in 2 yrs due to lack of spare parts.
- Many T-6A Texan IIs have been placed in long-term storage due to shortages in operational budgets.
- NH-90 helicopter acquisition delayed due to major design flaws along with higher¬†costs of operation relative to the Blackhawk.¬†Acquisition¬†will¬†probably not be finished¬†before 2015.
- EMB145H AWACS assets face possibility of reduction of the¬†fleet from 4 to 2 aircraft.
HAF airbases planned for downsizing and/or outright closure include:
- In Larisa AFB on Crete, the F-16 Block 52s will go to Araxos¬†following the retirement of¬†A-7s.
- Aircraft storage and maintenance facilities in Agrinion face budgetary cuts.
- Similar cuts hame things difficult in¬†Santorini (QRA detachment)
- Tympaki (location of S-300 air defence missiles) is burdened by lower budgets.
- CL-415 water bombers in Thessaloniki will go to Elefsis.
Based on Air Forces Monthly data.
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