Greece to acquire 35 Blackhawk helicopters from US in $1.2 billion defense agreement

Greece has approved the purchase of 35 UH-60M Blackhawk helicopters from U.S defense contractor Lockheed Martin Corp in an effort to modernize its armed forces, according to two people with knowledge of the deal who spoke to Reuters.”The deal passed by the parliament’s committee is to acquire 35 helicopters for $1.24 billion,” a government official told Reuters.A second person confirmed the approval, which was agreed upon late on Tuesday.Greece aims to update its defense industry and boost its shipbuilding industry, as it recovers from a decade-long debt crisis that forced it to slash spending.The government has drafted a multi-billion, 10-year purchasing plan, that includes acquiring up to 40 new F-35 fighter jets from the U.S. and three frigates from France.Athens is also in talks with the United States to co-design and build Constellation-class frigates for the Greek Navy.