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Lockheed Ts were delivered to training units and some RT's were used for reconnaissance missions. The Thunderstreak was developed to overcome the limitations of the Thunderjet's straight flying surfaces. This aircraft remained operational with the Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron of the Hellenic Air Force from to March 29, In the late s, the RHAF acquired new jet aircraft.

The F and F-5 served well for almost 20 years. Some of the A-7s were still in service as of [update] with the Hellenic Air Force, pending deliveries of 4. On March 29, , the RFF were retired from service after 34 years and 7 months of operational life.

In Peace Xenia II program began. Greece ordered 32 F C and 8 Fs , Block 50 version. The first Block 50 was delivered on July 25, The role of " Perseus " squadron is air-to-ground missions. Greece then strategically decided to remove all nuclear weapons under storage in Greece and did not purchase any more aircraft with nuclear mounting capabilities. After many problems, the first aircraft were delivered in Andravida Air Base , in December Entering the 21st century, Greece decided to purchase a large number of fighter aircraft , to replace the non-upgraded F-4E Phantoms , a number of A-7 Corsairs , and the fleet of Mirage F1 CGs.

The order for the Fs was about 50 single-seat of the C version and 10 two-seat of the D version. Fifteen new aircraft were delivered. Three squadrons are operating with this type of Fs. The first aircraft were delivered to Hellenic Air Force in May and they are flying with the Squadron " Tiger " in Araxos air base.

Greece owns fighters, of them are modern jets. Candidates for 4. Past budget cuts forced the HAF to ground many of its F fighters because of a lack of spare parts and maintenance. Recently Greece requested the U. Current and past Budget cuts will likely not have a large impact on HAF capabilities, but they will delay programs for the future. HAF defense modernization program estimated in it was needed to purchase 45 advance training aircraft, 15 SAR helicopters and modern fighters.

In its early years, the Air Force was considered politically right-wing and royalist; indeed, it was known as the "Royal Hellenic Air Force". However, its officer corps proved to be the most politically left-wing of the Armed Forces.

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During the Greek Civil War , the officers of the Greek Army denounced their Air Force counterparts as "leftists" and "communists" and considered them disloyal and unreliable. The only Air Force officer that had a significant role in the dictatorial regime was Antonis Skarmaliorakis. The antagonism between Greece and Turkey has meant that balance in quantitative and qualitative terms has been of the goals of the HAF.

This may alter current balance of air power. Due to the existence of the Joint Defence Doctrine between Greece and Cyprus is the defence of Cypriot air space, as Cyprus has no air force of its own. HAF aircraft have to be able to reach and stay long enough under combat conditions over Cyprus.

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The distance between the nearest base on the island of Crete to Cyprus is about km. All this makes range one of the most important Hellenic Air Force needs.

History Of Hellenic Air Force (HAF) Part 1/2

The Combat Wings have six fighter ground-attack squadrons. There are ten fighter squadrons, one regular reconnaissance squadron, and one marine reconnaissance squadron. Three transport squadrons and two helicopter squadrons form the organization of the air portion of the Tactical Air Command. The Air Training Command includes four training squadrons.


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Following the retirement of the A-7 Corsair fleet, HAF currently operates modern combat aircraft with being fourth-generation fighters. Numbers in service are drawn from references [28] and are valid as of December Greek air defences are oriented almost exclusively towards Turkey. Greece most probably operates the most dense air defense system infrastructure among NATO states. Turkey currently lacks long range system like the ones operated by Greece, but will soon purchase them.

Russian anti-aircraft missiles based originally in Crete were meant for Cyprus, but had to be relocated to Greek mainland due to international pressure. Sixty-three people were killed. Aviator Aristeidis Moraitinis , Mirage Mk. CH Hercules tactical transport aircraft of squadron.

CL water bomber of squadron. Formation of two P-3B Orion maritime patrol aircraft of squadron over Athens, overflying the military parade of They landed back at base without incident, but when the film was sent for developing it was found to be completely blank. They were later replaced by more efficient British-made Eagle cameras. Tilios and other senior air officers were essentially army officers in blue, restricted entirely to carrying out orders from the General Staff, which concentrated on supporting ground operations. The air force followed the prevailing European model of acting as long-range artillery.

On Spartan Wings - the Royal Hellenic Air Force

On the contrary, the lessons from the Battle of Britain, where for the first time opposing air fleets had to work out aerial tactics against each other, had yet to reach Greece. Tilios was thrown in at the deep end by the immediate need to repel the incoming bomber raids as well as make squadrons available to support the ground war. As there had been no serious preparation for such an eventuality, the script had to be improvised day by day. We knew nothing of firing distances or angles of attack.

We went to war in close formation, as if we were on parade. Only later, and from the British, did we learn about evasive manoeuvres. On that mission two pilots died and a third was wounded. The narrow and winding roads through these valleys were vulnerable, but on the other hand often shrouded in mist. An aerial attack on such terrain was filled with hazards. But he and his wingman, Flight Lieutenant Lambros Kouziyannis, trusted the abilities of the fast and manoeuvrable Potez Though Troupakis was miraculously unhurt, a shell fragment hit Kouziyannis in the head, stunning him.

With the cockpit canopy blown to bits, the Potez lurched into a spin. Cold air rushing into the cockpit revived Kouziyannis, who pulled the bomber level. Bleeding and fighting off dizziness, Kouziyannis sought the refuge of cloud cover. Emerging from the cloud, he narrowly missed flying into a mountain peak near Metsovo. As he was trying to recover from that second shock, Troupakis calmly informed him that five Fiats had passed blithely overhead. Kouziyannis managed to land at the 31 Mira base at Niamata near Larissa, slumping in a dead faint as soon as he came to a stop.

The squadron was ordered into action again on 1 November to bomb enemy artillery positions and mechanized units at Doliana and Kalpaki, inside the Greek border. The Italians were advancing and it was imperative that they be halted before they got within shelling distance of Ioannina, the first key city in their path.

As Karnavias was preparing three Potez 63s for the operation at Niamata base, Troupakis approached him. He had no answers. But Metaxas had ordered it, and that was that. As a CO should, he put on a brave face. Kouziyannis, his head bandaged, wanted to skipper the third plane. Karnavias tried to dissuade him, but he insisted. At that moment Vladousis was droning at 12, feet over a blackedout landscape.


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Only the feeble lamplights of a monastery perched on top of the Meteora cliffs were visible. Presently the town and shimmering lake of Ioannina passed beneath, and soon the lights of the lead Italian columns at Kalpaki came into view north of the city. Vladousis pushed the Potez into a steep dive and released his bombs, bucking the shock waves as he levelled out at a very low height. Troupakis bombed next, guided by the fires and the string of vehicle lights indicating where the column was. Streams of fiery flak tracer criss-crossed the sky.

When he saw the burning column he dived through a hail of flak and bombed where he could. Kouziyannis ordered him to stop, as there was no apparent target in sight and the shooting could give away their position. The trip back was fraught with hazard. Troupakis thought he saw the same light, but somehow failed to see the Niamata runway lights — a wing probably obscured them — and presently found himself over the Aegean Sea off the east coast.

He turned round, saw the lights, and as soon as he landed and taxied in his port engine cut out, starved of fuel. As the anxious minutes passed, Karnavias asked the Larissa air defence chief, an Army colonel, to switch on his searchlights to help Kouziyannis to find his way to base. Droning through the blackness on his way back, Kouziyannis realized he was lost. Keeping an anxious eye on his fuel gauge, he decided to head south.