On the 8th of November the Greek Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast day of the Archangels. Archangel Michael is the Patron Saint of the Hellenic Air Force and thus many airbases open their doors for visitors. In 2021 we made a tour along eight airbases around Athens.
Kalamata was the first stop. It is the training base of the airforce and operates with both the T-6A Texan II ( 361 & 364 Mira) and T-2C & E Buckeye (362 & 363 Mira). Pilots arriving at Kalamata have had their primary flight training and transit to the T-6A turboprop for their advanced training and continue on the T-2 Buckeye for jettraining and basic tactical training. At the platform a F-16C was present along with local T-2 and T-6 trainers. In the hangar a display was made of the same types along with a selection of armament. For the T-2 this also meant a pod mounted machinegun and clusterbombs. A T-2 was displayed completely derigged for transportation.
Andravida is home to the 338 Mira with the F-4E (AUP). Also the Air Tactics Center is housed here which is host to the annual multinational Iniochos exercise.
The F-4E (UAP) is an updated version of the 70’s era Phantom. After 23 years of presence in the Aegean Sea, HAF decided to upgrade the F-4E and RF-4E. At the end of 1997 the program “Peace Icarus 2000” began, providing both the structural reinforcement of aircraft and the quality improvement of their electronics. The F-4 stil has some sweet spots where is has an advantage over its descendants. It is slightly faster and can fly higher (thus providing more kinetic energy to its carried weapons) and has an extra pair of eyes in the cockpit for observation purposes through (targeting / recce) pods.
Araxos houses the F-16C/D-52+ with Pratt & Whitney F100-PW-229 engines. They have been supplied with the the Northrop Grumman APG-68(V)9 radar. Besides the increase in scan range compared to the previous version, it has a Synthetic aperture radar (SAR) capability.
The Block 52 F-16’s will be upgraded tot the Block 70 “F-16V” standard. It was deemed OK to show the entire current radar suite in the hangar.
Elefsis holds a multitude of aircraft types and squadrons. Mainly the larger multi-engine types will be found here.
352 Mira flies the VIP jets EMB-135 and the Gulfstream V.
354 Mira flies 8 C-27J Spartans, all of which were at the airbase.
355 Mira operates the CL-215 waterbomber in their yellow/red high visibility colours.
356 Mira operates the C-130 Hercules
358 Mira is a helicopter squadron flying the Huey: the AB-205 and Bell-212 can be found here.
380 Mira is the Airborne Early Warning & Control squadron with the EMB145H AEW&C
384 Mira operates the AS332C1
Medevac is provided with Beech 350C of the National Centre for Emergency Care
Dekelia Air Base, Tatoi houses the Hellenic Air Training Command (HATC) with 360 Mira whom flies the Technam P2002JF. This is a very light aircraft suitable for primary flight training.
AF Support Command with 351 & 359 Mira flies the PZL-M-18 Dromader. Due to the radial engine and tailwheel configuration it is an oddly oldly looking aircraft, but performs good in its task: waterbombing wildfires on remotely located isles of Greece.
Commercial Ericson S-64E Skycranes and used for firefighting and leased during the fire season.
Also the Hellenic Air Force Museum is located in Dekelia Air Base, Tatoi which can be seen in a separate article / webpage.
Tanagra is the sole Mirage 2000 airbase with three squadrons 331, 332 and 114 mira. Also AF Support Command is present with the Hellenic Aerospace Industry which takes care of overhaul of various a/c.
At Larissa several aircraft types were displayed. The bases houses the F-16C/D-52+ of 337 Mira and Pegasus II B UAV, but also the Mirage 2000 and F-4 were displayed.
Nea Anchialos houses four squadrons with block 30 and 50 F-16C/D’s. These operate the General Electric F110-GE-129 engine as sole operator in Greece. The squadrons are 110 and 330 Mira with block 30 and 341 and 347 Mira with block 50.
At Nea Anchialos many stored airframes can be found.