A DEAL has been signed by a Bolton missile maker to help equip Greek air force fighters.

MBDA has agreed to provide Meteors, which are made at their Lostock plant, to 18 Rafale combat aircraft.

The Rafales are also armed with SCALP cruise missiles, AM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles and MICA multi-mission air-to-air missiles.

Lieut Gen Theodoros Lagios, of the Greek Defence Ministry and Eric Béranger, MBDA's chief executive, signed the contract.

Mr Béranger said: "The signing of this agreement turns a new page in our relationship with Greece, which we have had for more than half a century. The country was the very first customer of the Exocet missile in 1968, showing great confidence in it and in our predecessor companies.

Bosses at MBDA say the new aircraft’s weapons will benefit from the strong commonality with those from the Mirage 2000s and Mirage 2000-5s, currently in service in the Hellenic Air Force.