A crucial piece of information comes from Greek sources, which assert that their F-16s have experienced a depreciation of 60%, a fact that merits detailed analysis.

Greek sources suggest negotiations to transfer F-16 fighters to Ukraine, thus enhancing bilateral military cooperation.

In the context of the large-scale rearmament undertaken by Greece, which includes the acquisition of 20 F-35 aircraft, the modernization of its F-16 Block 52+ to the Viper configuration, and the consideration of adding French Rafale fighters to its arsenal, The Greek Ministry of Defense has announced its intention to dispense with the oldest components of its air fleet.

This detachment includes the F-16 Block 30, the Mirage 2000-5, and the F-4 Phantom. A detailed analysis reveals that the divestment plan includes 108 combat aircraft: 32 units of the F-16C/D Block 30, 24 units of the Mirage 2000-5 Mk.

2, and 33 units of the F-4E PI2000. Surprisingly, the sale of these assets is projected to generate revenue in the range of €2 billion to €2.5 billion, although this expectation may be overly optimistic.

In particular, finding buyers for the F-4 Phantom may present a considerable challenge, given its dated technology. Currently, the air forces of only three countries – Turkey, South Korea (which is in the process of withdrawing them), and Iran – continue to operate this model.

The Mirage 2000-5, on the other hand, could capture India’s interest, given its previous experience with fighters of similar characteristics. Additionally, this model still serves in the air forces of Egypt, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates, potentially expanding the market.

On the other hand, regarding the F-16 , there has been speculation in Greek military publications about Ukraine’s possible interest in acquiring these aircraft.

Challenges and strategies for the renewal of the Greek Air Fleet

Greece hints at possible deal on F-16 fighters for Ukraine

Regarding the F-16 Block 30, Greece originally selected these fighters to replace the F-5A in 1984, with an initial projected cost of $940 million.

However, following a competitive bidding process, the final outlay was adjusted to $659 million, while costs associated with co-production were estimated at $240 million.

Between 1989 and 1990, Greece added 34 units of the single-seat F-16C and 6 of the two-seat F-16D to its arsenal, all new. In the mid-1990s, these aircraft underwent an extensive upgrade program known as “Falcon-Up,” intended to rejuvenate their operational capabilities.

This program included the replacement of four key structural components of the fuselage, doubling the estimated service life of the aircraft from 4,000 to 8,000 hours. This initiative was carried out by the Hellenic Aerospace Industry.

Additionally, the F-16 Block 30 fleet was enriched with 24 LANTIRN systems, enabling them to use precision munitions in operations against ground targets. A future upgrade of these fighters was contemplated to incorporate the RB ASPIS system, as well as the ALQ-187 I-DIAS jamming station, further expanding their operational capabilities.

Technical comparison: The superiority of the Greek F-16 Block 30

Greece hints at possible deal on F-16 fighters for Ukraine
A U.S. Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off during exercise Ballast Cannon 24.3 at an undisclosed location in the U.S. Central Command area of ​​responsibility, Jan. 7, 2024. Ballast Cannon takes place almost quarterly with the Royal Bahrain Air Force to support the US Air Force’s rapid expeditionary capabilities by integrating Combat Agile Employment objectives for the F-16 Fighting Falcon, KC-135 Stratotanker and support operational personnel. Agile Combat Employment shifts airpower generation from large centralized bases to networks of smaller, dispersed sites or clustered bases to increase survivability and complicate adversary planning. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman Sarah Williams)

When comparing the F-16s operated by Greece with those of nations such as the Netherlands, Denmark, Belgium or Norway, it is evident that the Hellenic fleet benefits from a more advanced initial configuration.

In contrast to Block 15 used by these countries, Greece has Block 30, which is distinguished primarily by the incorporation of the AN/APG-68 radar [starting with Block 25], superior to the AN/APG-66 of previous versions.

Despite this, it is important to note that all of these fighters have undergone significant upgrades, such as Falcon-Up and MLU, which have standardized their capabilities to a high standard.

The production timing of these aircraft remains a mystery, pending specific clarification for the European F-16 model. However, any variation in this aspect would tend to be minimal, possibly only a few years, which places the Greek aircraft in a slightly advantageous position due to their younger age.

A crucial piece of information comes from Greek sources, which assert that their F-16s have experienced a depreciation of 60%, a fact that merits detailed analysis.

Valuation and financial projections of the Greek F-16

Greece hints at possible deal on F-16 fighters for Ukraine
An illustrative photo of a US Air Force F-16, below, escorting two F-35 jets, above, after the latter arrived at Hill Air Force Base in Utah, in September 2015 (AP/Rick Bowmer, File)

The understanding of the market value of the F-16 used by Greece can be extrapolated from recent transactions, such as the sale from Denmark to Argentina of 24 fighters for a unit price of 14 million dollars, adding up to a total of 338 million dollars per lot.

Applying this reference to the Greek case, the total value for its number of F-16s would amount to approximately $448 million. Although optimism prevails in Athens, this assessment could be speculative.

However, a renewal of Greek air combat capacity using these devices could enable significant savings in future purchases of American war material, including the coveted F-35.

Concern about the modernization schedule is palpable. The Greek military renewal program extends until 2030, with the first F-35s scheduled for delivery no earlier than 2028.

The exact terms for upgrading the F-16 Block 52+ to the Viper configuration remain undefined. However, one certainty emerges: any potential financial or discount on the purchase of F-35s through the sale or trade of used F-16s is a horizon that will likely not materialize until the end of this decade.