US to spend over $33M to renovate air base in central Greece

Transfer of more US excess military hardware to Greece also on table, says Greek media.

US to spend over $33M to renovate air base in central Greece

The US will give Greece $33 million to expand and renovate military facilities in the country, local media reported.

Totaling $33.5 million, the funds will be used primarily on the construction of two hangars and support facilities at an airbase in the central province of Larissa, according to a report on Tuesday by the daily Kathimerini.

Washington is providing this assistance under the recently renewed Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) with Greece, which also allows US forces to use these facilities, the newspaper said, citing "well-informed sources."

Under the deal, the US is also planning to transfer additional excess defense articles to Greece, with talks ongoing on US proposals related to Athens's efforts to boost its military might by acquiring new arms and modernizing its existing hardware, it added.

Greece is considering acquiring over a dozen amphibious assault vehicles (AAV) from the US for its marine brigade, said the report. This comes after Athens recently received a shipment of M1117 armored security vehicles, as well as earlier deliveries of OH-58 Kiowa helicopters and Mark V special operations fast boats.

Furthermore, the daily claimed that US companies will soon submit proposals for the modernization program of the Greek navy's MEKO 200-type frigates.

It added that taken together, these developments point to expanding military cooperation between the US and Greece.

Greece's navy already operates 13 frigates, including nine Dutch Kortenaer class, and ordered three FDI-class frigates from France in September.

Athens recently signed multiple big-ticket arms deals with Israel for the purchase of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and missiles, with France for the purchase of Rafael warplanes, and with the US for the update of its F-16 fighter jets to the latest Viper configuration.​​​​​

Hüseyin Demir