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A Closer Look At Greek Air Force

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A Closer Look At Greek Air Force

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Written by Lieutenant-Colonel I. Malkin; Originally appeared at Foreign Military Review 2020 #3, translated by AlexD exclusively for SouthFront

The Air Force is a branch of the Armed Forces of the Hellenic Republic. The history of Greek aviation dates back to February 8 1912, after the first flight of Emmanuel Argyropoulos. Pilot training and the purchase of aircraft for the National Air Force were carried out from France.

A Closer Look At Greek Air Force

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In June 1912, the Naval Aviation Service was created, and in September, a company of pilots was formed (Larisa). In 1930, military aviation was separated into an independent branch of the Armed Forces.

During World War II, during the German invasion in 1941, the Air Force was completely destroyed. Several Greek squadrons formed later fought under British command.

In November 1950, Greece participated in the United National Mission in South Korea, sending eight C-47 aircraft and 67 military personnel. The loss of the Greek contingent was 12 officers and two aircraft.

ith the country’s accession to NATO, an extensive modernisation of the Air Force was carries out. Propeller-driven aircraft were replaced by jet aircraft, the first of which were the American F-84, F-86 and F-104.

In 1974 during the Turkish invasion of the island of Cyprus, the Greek defence ministry carried out the largest operation of the national Air Force at that time to transfer special forces units. Despite the dilapidation of the aircraft and unfavourable flight conditions, 12 or the 18 machines involved in Operation Niki landed at the Nicosia airfield.

A Closer Look At Greek Air Force

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Organisationally, the Air Force includes the main headquarters of the Air Force, three air commands – tactical (TAK), logistics support and maintenance, and training – as well as other units and division.

A supreme council has been established under the Commander of the Air Force, which serves as an advisory and consultative body. It includes the Commander of the Air Force (Chairman), the Commander of the TAK, and all senior officers with the rank of Major General at least. The Supreme Council considers and makes recommendations on the operational use of aviation, combat training of units and division, appointment of officers and brigadier generals to positions, discharge of officers to the reserve or retirement.

The tactical air command (Larisa) is an operational unit of the Greek Air Force that solves combat tasks both independently and in cooperation with other branches of the Armed Forces. It is responsible for the use of aviation, plans and controls the operational and combat training of lower-level headquarters and units, and manages their forces and means. Units subordinate to the command are:

  • joint aviation control centre (1-3 ACC);
  • aviation wings (AW): 110th (337th Squadron), 111th (330th, 341st and 347th): 114th (331st and 332nd), 115th (340th and 343rd), 116th (335th and 336th), 117th (338th);
  • 350th anti-aircraft missile division (21-26 SAM batteries).
A Closer Look At Greek Air Force

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Aviation wings are considered the main combat unit. They are not uniform in their composition, they have 2-4 aviation squadrons (AS), which usually have different purposes (fighter, bomber, mixed).

A significant place in the Greek Air Force is occupied by the joint aviation control centre, which is an integral part of the entire NATO air defence system. It is responsible for monitoring the country’s airspace and organising the reflection of air raids. It closes the centres, control and warning posts, and long-range detection posts located on the continental part and large islands of the country.

A Closer Look At Greek Air Force

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The air command of logistics support and maintenance (Eleusis) is designed to provide airlift of troops and cargo in the interests of all types of armed forces operations, search and rescue, and logistical support units. The organisational part of the command consists of two AW of the auxiliary Air Force, other parts, units and institutions.

Units subordinate to the logistics support and maintenance command are:

  • 112 AW (352, 354-356, 358 and 384 Squadrons);
  • 113 AW (383th Squadron);
  • 359th separate squadron (Tatoi);
  • 31st search and rescue squad (Eleusis);
  • 201st and 204th armament depots;
  • factories (aviation, telecommunications and electronic equipment).

The 112 AW includes tactical transport aircraft (C-27, C-37, C-130 aircraft; AB-205, AB-212, AS-332 helicopters) designed to transport troops and cargo by air within the South-Eastern part of the southern European region.

A Closer Look At Greek Air Force

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The aviation training command (Dhekelia) is responsible for the training of personnel of the Air Force. It has two training aviation wings, a separate training aviation squadron, the Icarus Higher Military School, and the tactical aviation training centre.

Every year 70-100 pilots graduate from educational institutions. Initially, they were trained on T-2E aircraft. Retraining for combat aircraft takes place directly in the aviation units. Greek pilots are also trained in aviation training institutions in the United States and France.

An extensive network of air bases and airfields has been established in Greece to accommodate air units of national subordination and the joint NATO Air Force. The construction was carried out in accordance with the general infrastructure development programme of the Alliance. Most airfields meet its standards (they have modern equipment, are suitable for operation at any time of the year and day, and provide take-off and landing of aircraft in difficult weather conditions). Many of them have special storage facilities for aviation ammunition, and the main airfields are connected by a fuel pipeline with a total length of 450 km. The main air bases are located in the cities of Agrinio, Alexandroupoli, Andravida, Araxos, Athens, Heraklion, Kavala, Kastelli, Corfu, Kozani, Larissa, Nea Anchialos, Preveza, Thessaloniki, Souda, Tanagra, Timpaki, Eleusis. At the same time, the Greek military aviation actively uses the infrastructure of civilian airports.

A Closer Look At Greek Air Force

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The combat training command (CT) is aimed at maintaining units of the country’s Air Force in constant combat readiness. It is organised by the command in accordance with plans for the use of aviation in the interests of the state and taking into account NATO’s requirements. During the CT exercises, competitions are held and flight skills are mastered. In all national exercises, aircraft crews practiced methods of combat operations when performing tasks to gain and maintain air superiority, isolate the combat area, provide air support to ground forces and naval forces, and conduct aerial reconnaissance.

The Greek Air Force is equipped mainly with aircraft manufactured in the United States, France, Italy and Brazil.

A Closer Look At Greek Air Force

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In order to modernise the existing aircraft fleet, the management of the Greek Armed Forces plans the following in the medium term: work on extending the flight life of the F-16 C/D block of 50 fighters to 8 thousand hours, as well as installing a new onboard weapons control system corresponding to the F-16 block 52+ level; completion of the Falcon Star modernisation programme, which provides the extension of the service life of the F-16 C/D block of 30 fighters by improving jet engines and avionics to the F-16 block 52+ level; completion of the modernisation of 19 Mirage-2000 aircraft to the Mirage-2000 5 level.

The development of the Greek Air Force is carried in accordance with the NATO Air Force development programme. In general, they are able to work together with other branches of the country’s armed forces to solve their tasks.

A Closer Look At Greek Air Force

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krokodil

Did you miss some 18 units of French Rafales? Or not delivered yet?

ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ

There are other “goodies” but we keep them hidden. xa xa xa

big lebowski

Delivery will start in January 2021 with 6 used Rafale jets, which should arrive in Greece by spring.

Fighter pilots are already training in France.
This shouldn’t take long, since Greece was already using Dassault Mirage-2000 jets.

By end of summer 2021, all 18 should be in Greece and fully operational.

ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ
ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ

Mirage 2000 The ride of your life…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8EfP8EnVxPY

World_Eye

Wait I don’t see any attack helicopters as Apache, I believed that the Greeks have apaches.

ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ
big lebowski

They are part of the Army, not the HAF.

As are the TOR and Krotal systems mentioned in the article.

Brother Ma

18 aircraft were sent but the order was rescinded by the servile Americano-vassal Colonels almost immediately and they practically went there without orders. The only other time orders during 1974 Cyprus were ignored , was fortuitous for the Greeks. It saved Ammohostos, only for Erdogan to take a pincic in it in a few days. The Captain of a landing ship disobeyed orders and opened fire on the Turks keeping them from taking the town. This just goes to prove how treasonous ,weak and stupid the Greek 1967 Colonels were . Greece had superior Phantom jets and not one flew to help, it had two submarines ready to torpedo Turk ships but was told not to engage .Cursed be the name and memory and memory of the Colonels.

ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ

” 18 aircraft were sent but the order was rescinded by the servile Americano-vassal Colonels”

This is a disgraceful lie and propaganda..no order has been canceled and the raffles will be in Greece. Pilots are already being trained in their use.

Brother Ma

No Parmemion,it is true . Investigate it more. The planes were half way to Cyprus and I believe it was Bonanos who radioed to get them back and they kept going. Same with the Landing Ship in Ammohostos (Captain had just dropped off new Eldikari by coincidence). He also disobeyed orders.I am happy both did.

ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ

I’m sorry to bother you … but the money for the purchase has been deposited … and we will take the planes. And the training is going normally … and believe me I am able to know more than anyone. And not only the Rafals … but we will buy other “things” “… you see we are preparing for a GREAT WAR.

Brother Ma

I hope so.

mhtsaropinigitakis

u guys talk about 2 different things haha :P

ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ

yep xa xa xa xa

Brother Ma

If you are talking about the Rafales you have misunderstood me. I was referring to the Junta Colonels of 1967-1974 and the two major Greek incidents of new Greek troops to Cyprus .
The third was the Eldikari camo alreasy in Cyprus. Who were left on their own.

Ignorant Turks actually beoive they won a war and gloat. Ha! Of course they did when no peer army fought against them or fired a shot, apart from the 1000 eldikari greeks already in Cyprus who still stopped them to a degree.

ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ

yes I was referring to Rafal !!! ha ha ha through the internet comprehension is difficult.

Brother Ma

No problem ,friend. I worry a lot though. Greece has issues with Turkey , is betrayed with friends and we don’t even have torpedoes for the submarines. Wtf? Germany has Greece over a barrel. Time to secretly arm for war and fck all Greece’s friends. Need to present all allies with a fait accompli like the French say. Tetelesmena gegonota.

.How can Greece win against the Turk it hasn’t even got bullets in a warehouse.

ΠΑΡΜΕΝΙΩΝ

YES YOU ARE RIGHT … in Cyprus they did not let us fight.

Vas

Some errors with the numbers.
In reality there are, 30 F-16 blk 52+ adv, 56 F-16 blk 52+, 38 F-16 blk 50, 32 F-16 Blk 30, 24 Mirage 2000-5Mk2, 18 Mirage 2000EGM, 34 F-4 PI2000.
Of course the Hellenic aiforce is about to receive 18 Rafale F3R starting in mid 2021 till its completion early 2022. Also a deal for 20 or so F-35s are about to be signed soon as well.

David Price

Why dont you take back N Cyprus?

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