US Senator Jim Risch, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, approved the sale of Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets to Greece, Hellas Journal reported Thursday, adding the final signature required before the deal can be completed. may be passed.
The deal was approved by the committee’s chair, US Senator Bob Menendez, in February, and also received approval from Republican co-chair Michael McCaul and Gregory Meeks, the ranking Democrat on the committee.
Now that the consensus of the four officials has been obtained, the US government will formally notify Congress of the sale of the F-35s to Greece, and from there, the prescribed procedure for defense contract approval will be followed.
As Kathimerini reported earlier, the issue of selling the F-35s to Greece continues with the delivery of the first aircraft between 2028 and 2033, despite the fact that the Letter of Acceptance (LOA) is still expected from the US side.
The value of the first batch of F-35 fighters is expected to reach 350 million euros, after completing the so-called SSI (Security, Supply, Information) deduction from the final price of the US-made aircraft.
Cost estimates can be relatively accurate based on established characteristics, such as the total number of 20 F-35A aircraft that the Hellenic Air Force will deliver between 2028 and 2033.
The procedure for approval of defense contracts requires that the State Department first informally solicit Congress on a proposed sale. Although the administration was not committed to the process, it had made a habit of taking Congress’s opinion seriously, and thus avoided confronting it publicly about approving defense contracts. At this particular stage, Turkey was denied the development of F-16 fighters due to its purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems.