The Greek Armed Forces are about to modernize themselves considerably over the coming year, due to the mature of many defense-related programs and projects that were procured over the previous year. This report aims to inform around the most important ones, especially those that are deemed important for the overall regional balance and the capabilities they entail for the Greek Military.
Greece has already received four of the 12 AH-64D (Apache) attack helicopters ordered from Boeing (1). It is assumed that the final delivery will occur by next year and Greece will number 32 helicopters of that type by then. The features of this type of attack helicopter include amongst other modern high-technology radar that can follow-up 256 different targets simultaneously. It is notable that Greece is one of the few countries worldwide that use this type of helicopter, like USA, UK, Israel, Netherlands and Japan (2) Moreover Greece begun receiving the first batch of the new Leopard 2HEL battle tanks(3) that will jointly manufactured by the Greek ELVO company (4)and the German KMW (5) .
The total order was for 170 units at a total cost of 1, 7 billion Euros, priced on December 2003. This type of tank is the most advanced in Europe nowadays and will be accompany by the highly lethal APFSDS ammunition (6) that can penetrate most types of armored vehicles. This procurement is about to end in late 2011 and it is assumed that these tanks will be deployed in the Thracian front, in order for the Greek Army to gain a considerable advantage over the ageing M-48 and M-60 Turkish tanks
Also over the year the Greek Army will receive the 130 Leopard 2A4 type tanks that it has ordered from the German state in parallel with the aforementioned 2HEL one. This delivery will be coupled with the 98 Leopard 1A5 type tanks that were gained by the Greek Army as an offset of the total tank procurement. The Greek Army is increasingly becoming more “Continental” in posture by replenishing its strength and switching from American models to German ones.
The Army air-force has also its share of deliveries over the year, with the first NH90 type transport helicopters from a total procurement of 20 units (7). They are produced by Eurocopter a French-German conglomerate and will serve the Army well, that is still operating Huey helicopters that in most respects are in service since the early 70’s.
All the above deliveries for this year were procured from 2001 to 2003 and have cost approximately 2.9 billion Euros.
Greece has already received its first submarine from an original procurement of three; the S-214 type from the Kiel shipyards (8). The submarine is constructed and equipped with the fuel-cells technology that provides extra length travel below sea level (9). Until now it has not been introduced to service due to problems concerning its stability in journeys and technical malfunctions (10). Should these problems are not resolved no other submarine is going to be accepted by the Navy.
Another Navy delivery in 2007, are the 2 minesweeper vessels sold by the USN, OSPREY type ones. Greece expects that over the coming years it will be able to acquire other 3 more similar type vessels so as to fully modernize its abilities in this naval field (11).
On the Fast Attack Vessels deliveries, the Greek Navy expects by May 2007 to receive the first of the 4 Combattante III type ones that are currently under modernization program in the Syros shipyards in Greece (12). They have upgraded their electronic warfare systems and proceeded through a thorough reconstruction process. On the same type vessels, Greece is about to receive the last two Super Vita type Fast Attack Vessels that are manufactured in Elefsis yard, based on a British model (13). They are scheduled to be ready by autumn 2007.
Lastly over the year the modernization program of the Frigates S type will be ready, bringing 6 vessels in total that have upgraded their fighting capabilities (14).
All the above deliveries for this year were procured from 1999 to 2004 and have cost approximately 2.4 billion Euros.
Greek Air Force
The Greek Air Force is experiencing this year one of the greatest upgrades in its arsenal over the past decades. First of all it received the first 2 aircraft Mirage-2000-5 Mk2 type, out of a total procurement of 25 units (15). This delivery will be joined by another one of 10 200-5 type that were modernized from a “2000” level. The unique feature of this type of French aircraft is its ability to strike launches (Air-to-Earth) of the SCALP-EG missile which has a range of 250 km (16). Greece will also receive 56 of these missiles over the year along with an array of MICA and Magic type air-to-air missiles, specifically for the Mirage aircraft. Furthermore this type of fighter jets is equipped with the RDY radar which is considered to be the top of its league (17) and the best operational yet, in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean environment.
Another important defense aspect this year for the Air Force would be the completion of the installation of the ASPIS II electronic protection system in the Greek F-16 Block 52+ aircraft (18). This system will offer an electronic protection shield on par with the highest NATO standards for these types of jets and protect them from the perils of electronic warfare to a great extent.
On the sector of transport airplanes, the Greek Air Force completes this year its procurement of 12 C-27J Spartan type (19). Greece uses heavily its fleet of C-130 and the new planes will greatly assist in advancing the abilities of the military to transport material in and out of the country and in destinations such as Afghanistan and Kosovo where Greek troops are stationed as Peacekeeping forces.
A last and crucial addition to the Greek Air Force dynamic is the 4 EMB-145H AWACS that are being constructed by a French-Brazilian-Swedish consortium (20). Greece for the first time in its Air history will acquire air radar capabilities with an average detection range of 350 km for enemy planes and 150 km for incoming cruise missiles. It is assumed that these four aircraft could fully meet the needs for a defense from the Northern Aegean Archipelagos and up to the central Eastern Mediterranean Sea.
All the above deliveries for this year were procured from 1998 to 2003 and have cost approximately 2.4 billion Euros.
A last and notable development concerning the Greek Military is the creation and operation of the “Intelligence Electronic Centre”, administered by the Army (21). It has as a task to collect 24/7 OSINT information concerning anything transmitted on domestic and world media around military affairs. Moreover it is responsible for upholding the security status of internet and intranet networks of the military and monitors leakages of sensitive and/or classified information over the World Wide Web. In a short space of time-Having being created just three months ago- it has successfully tracked down six attempts to disclose military information, either deliberately or by accident.
On overall 2007 is a year where the Greek Military receives a great amount of procurements made over the previous decade. In total, an armament arsenal that cost some 7, 7 billion Euros is going to be delivered and Greece steadily becomes one of the most defense capable states in the world. Over the next decade, the country is planning to execute a defense procurement budget of some 22 billion Euros aiming in securing its place in the “Network based warfare structure” with an emphasis in air and sea supremacy. http://rieas.gr/index.php?option=com_conte...d=209&Itemid=66
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