The Greek government has announced that it will purchase 18 Dassault Rafale fighters.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Saturday that “the time has come to reinforce our armed forces.”

Greece will also buy four new frigates and renovate four more, purchase four more helicopters for the navy, and procure anti-tank weapons, torpedoes and missiles. In addition 15,000 more troops will be recruited.

The announcement comes in the midst of a tense stand-off between Greece and Turkey in a dispute over oil and gas drilling rights in the eastern Mediterranean.

The President of Dassault Aviation thanked the Greek government for its order. “Dassault Aviation is totally mobilised to respond to the operational needs expressed by the Greek air force, and to contribute to assuring the sovereignty of Greece and the Greek people.”

PHOTO: A Rafale of the French Air Force Dassault