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- RF-4E recon aircraft are to be withdrawn in late 2012 while 6 will be kept for use with the 3 Thales ASTAC SIGINT pods.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- T-2 Buckeyes are very likely to be withdrawn in 2 yrs due to lack of spare parts.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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