The second battlefield of Europe on the brink of eruption? Both NATO member bring their latest weapons

The smoke of gunpowder between Russia and Ukraine has not yet dispersed, and the century-old conflict between the two countries in the Eastern Mediterranean seems to be about to start again. These days, the relations between Turkey and Greece, which are NATO members but have territorial and historical disputes, are very tense, and even so tense that there is a risk of a second war in Europe. The two sides uses the most advanced Russian-made surface-to-air missiles, S-300 and S-400, targeting the US-made F-16 fighter jets shared by the two countries, this scenario is really magical.

On the 6th of this month, when visiting Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan suddenly issued a strongly worded statement: “Greece is now occupying these (originally belonging to Turkey) islands in the Aegean Sea and is intensifying hostilities, as long as the time is right”. Previously, he had warned Greece not to harass Turkish fighter jets again, otherwise there would be “serious consequences”.

In this regard, the Greek side responded fiercely, saying that Turkey was going to launch a “war similar to Ukraine”, and the Turkish side’s actions violated Article 5 of NATO, which means that once the Turkish army attacks, it will trigger the collective defense clause of NATO, and the most embarrassing thing is that if Greece fires on Turkish fighters, it will also touch NATO Article 5. Greece and Turkey are both start-up members of NATO and are biased towards any one side could split NATO.

The fuse of this incident occurred on August 23, when the Turkish Ministry of Defense accused the Greek army of deploying S-300 surface-to-air missiles on Crete, targeting Rhodes, a large Aegean island located closest to the Turkish land. Turkish Air Force F-16 fighter jets flying 3km to the west, these missiles were originally purchased by Cyprus in 1997 and passed on to Greece due to the threat of war from Turkey.

The deeper relationship between the two sides was forged in May this year, when Erdogan accused Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis of lobbying the United States to maintain and expand the embargo of military equipment to Turkey when he visited the United States.

This round of tension between the two sides coincided with the end of the 1919-1922 Greek-Turkish War, which was a century after the end of the First World War. Turkey recaptured the territory occupied by Greece, and the two sides replaced millions of people with completely different beliefs. The nationals have brought a century of peace to the two countries, and also laid the groundwork for conflict. Since Greece still occupies almost all the Aegean islands, it takes a lot of advantage in the exclusive economic zone and maritime rights and interests. The fighters of the two sides exchanged in this airspace. Chasing, aiming and locking are commonplace.

In terms of naval and air power, Greece and Turkey are on a par.

Take the Air Force as an example, Turkey is one of the countries with the largest number of F-16 fighter jets outside the United States, with 245 F-16C/Ds, Greece has more than 150 F-16C/Ds, and 42 Mirage 2000 and 6 French-made Rafale fighters that arrived not long ago, Greece is also the first to upgrade the F-16V using APG-83 active phased array radar, Turkey has 4 E-7 early warning aircraft, Greece has 4 R -99 “Eriyan” early warning aircraft, so the number of the Greek Air Force is smaller and the quality is better.

Similarities in the source of armament are also reflected in the navies of Greece and Turkey. The main frigates of both sides are all German-made MEKO200s. With the S-400 imported from Russia under great pressure, the F-16 of Greece is locked. The S-400’s 40N6 missile has a range of up to 400 kilometers, enough to cover the entire Aegean Sea.

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