Until the late 1980's the Air Force deployed missiles armed with U.S. nuclear warheads using the LTV TA-7C Corsair II. As a result of Greco-Turkish tension around the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, the U.S. removed its nuclear weapons from Greek and Turkish alert units to storage. Greece saw this as another pro-Turkish move by NATO and withdrew its forces from NATO's military command structure from 1974 to 1980.
In March 1985 the Greek government announced the purchase of 34 F-16C and 6 F-16D Block 30 variant in the “Peace Xenia I” modernization program. In the same month Greece ordered 36 single-seat Mirage 2000EG and 4 two-seat Mirage 2000BG, as part of the “Talos” modernization program.
Subsequently in 1989, the first fourth-generation fighters were introduced, marking the beginning of a new era: the first Mirage 2000 EG/BG aircraft were delivered to the 114 Combat Wing in Tanagra Airforce base and equipped the 331 and 332 squadrons. In January 1989 the first F-16C/D Block 30 arrived in 111 combat wing in Nea Anchialos Airforce base and were allocated to the 330 "Thunder" and 346 "Jason" interceptor squadrons in Larissa Airforce base.
On March 29, 1991, the RF-84F were retired from service after 34 years and 7 months of operational life. In November 1992 more RF-4Es were delivered to the 348 "Eyes" Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron.
In 1993 the “Peace Xenia II” modernization program began. Greece ordered 32 F-16C and 8 F-16D, Block 50 variant. The first Block 50 was delivered on July 25, 1997. These aircraft, equipped with the LANTIRN navigation and targeting pod as well as AIM-120 AMRAAM and AGM-88 HARM missiles, were allocated to the 341 "Arrow" and 347 "Perseus" squadrons in Nea Anchialos Airforce base. The basic mission of 341 "Arrow" squadron is Suppression of Enemy Air Defenses (SEAD). The role of 347 "Perseus" squadron is air-to-ground missions.