The Hellenic Air Force’s 347 Mira recently celebrated its 40-year anniversary at Nea Anchialos Air Base. The event was marked with a ceremony on February 3. Equipped today with the F-16 Fighting Falcon, 347 Mira is part of the 111 Pterix (Combat Wing). The squadron was founded in 1977 at Souda AB (115 Pterix), before it moved to Larissa (110 Pterix) the same year.
To mark the occasion one of 347 Mira’s F-16C-50-CFs has received special tail art designed by a serving member of the HAF. The name ‘Perseus’ and the symbol of the squadron are painted on the vertical stabiliser. Two of the fighter’s drop tanks have also been appropriately painted.
347 Mira was previously equipped with A-7H Corsair IIs when it was based at Larissa with the 110 Pterix. It was disbanded in 1992, but five years later 347 Mira was reactivated at Nea Anchialos to become the first operator of the Block 50 F-16 in HAF service. Currently, 347 Mira has 16 F-16C Block 50s and four two-seat F-16D Block 50s in its inventory.
As a multi-role base, 111 Pterix operates F-16s that can accomplish many of the missions that the HAF is called upon to undertake: offensive counter air (OCA) and defensive counter air (DCA), precision attack with the AGM-65G Maverick missile, suppression of enemy air defences (SEAD) and force protection, as well as reconnaissance using the LANTIRN pod.
The main difference in comparison to other HAF bases is that 111 Pterix includes three frontline F-16 squadrons (330, 341 and 347 Mira), all of which are assigned readiness duties according to the National Centre of Aerial Control Planning. The presence of three squadrons at the same base is a unique feature within the HAF and significantly contributes to the everyday training of flying crews. Since there are more jets available, larger F-16 formation packages can be flown, leading to more realistic sorties.