New Delhi: The likely visit of Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari to Greece is being seen as a major game-changer, certainly for the Indian Air Force (IAF), but also in terms of strategic messaging.

For, Greece, a part of the United States of America-led North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), can be of great tactical help to the IAF as its air force flies not just the Rafale that India has acquired from France, but also the F-16 C/D, which the Pakistan Air Force has.

"The Hellenic Air Force has acquired both planes and will have a clear idea of the operational aspects of a Rafale vs F16 C/D matchup," said high-level sources. Currently, the F16C/D is the best fighter Pakistan has. It has the F16A/B, but it belongs to a previous generation. So, the Greeks, having both the Rafale and the F16C/D will have a clear and also impartial view as far as the performances of both planes are concerned and how they compare with each other operationally. This will help the IAF in dealing with the Pakistan Air Force, if necessary F16C/Ds in the future.

With both countries having the Rafale, it will be an opportunity to work together and share information on the fighter. At the moment, apart from France and India, there are only about half and dozen countries that fly the Rafale. The Greeks have considerable experience with the Rafale.

The strategic aspect of the visit comes from the fact that the Greeks have a difficult relationship with Turkey, also a NATO country. This is a problem that has persisted for many years. While India and Turkey have diplomatic and also economic ties, Ankara's military help to Islamabad has caused considerable concern.

Turkey is making four MILGEM-class heavy corvettes for the Pakistan Navy. Three corvettes, called Babur-class by Pakistan are in varying states of readiness, and one has joined the fleet. Turkey has also sold PNS Moawin, a fleet tanker to the Pakistan Navy and repaired PNS Alamgir, a guided-missile frigate, and therefore, a frontline warship. It had problems with its sonar, fire control systems and radar. Besides, PNS Alamgir also participated in a high-profile Turkish naval exercise— Dogu Akdeniz—with the Turks in the Mediterranean Sea in November last year. Pakistan and Turkey have frequent consultations about their air force assets— both have F16s.