Greek News Update 07-03-2023

MH-60R Seahawk

Image Credit: TurDef
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Dassault Mirage 2000EGM/BGM

Image credit: Ekathimerini
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Kyriakos Mitsotakis

Image credit: Ekathimerini
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February 29, 2024 - Dendias lays out military revamp scheme - Defense Minister Nikos Dendias laid out the plans to modernize the country’s armed forces further on Thursday during a cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. Dendias said that part of the military’s upgrades will adhere to the United Nations’ Agenda 2030 for sustainable development, adding that innovation will play a key role in its implementation. The defense minister further stated that the government’s plans to create a Hellenic Research & Innovation Centre (HRIC) to this end. Read more

February 17, 2023 - Sikorsky Concludes Greece’s three MH-60R Helicopters - Lockheed Martin's subsidiary Sikorsky has completed testing of the first three of seven MH-60R SEAHAWK helicopters that the Hellenic Navy acquired. The tests were finished at the beginning of December 2023, according to an announcement by Lockheed Martin. The company also stated that each MH-60R helicopter can carry out anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions from land or naval ships. Greece is the seventh country to receive the United States Navy’s MH-60R maritime helicopter. In Europe, Denmark has nine MH-60R aircraft. In 2023, Spain and Norway ordered a total of 14 MH-60R aircraft. The first three MH-60R aircraft will arrive in Greece in 2024 via US Navy transport planes. The remaining four helicopters will arrive in 2025 to complete the Hellenic Navy’s seven-aircraft acquisition. Read more

February 16, 2024 - Greek Army weighs options for breathing new life into Leopard 1 tanks - German arms manufacturer Krauss-Maffei Wegmann has partnered with local Greek supplier EODH and Spanish electronics firm Duma to propose an upgrade package for the modernization of the Hellenic Army’s Leopard 1A5 fleet. “The Armored Directorate of the Hellenic Army is in the phase of studying the future of the tanks’ potential and has asked various companies to submit proposals for the 500 Leopard 1A5s that it has in active operation,” John Mitsis, who oversees business development at EODH, told Defense News in an email. “For this reason, EODH in collaboration with the original equipment manufacturer KMW/KNDS, and Duma, designed a package that ensures that the tank will remain combat-worthy for at least another two decades,” he added. Read more

February 16, 2024 - Mitsotakis calls for streamlining Europe’s defense industry - Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on Friday called for the rationalization of Europe’s defense industry in response to a changing global environment. “We will have to streamline the European defense industry and make strategic decisions on where to direct our resources, as there cannot be six or seven different suppliers of weapons systems in Europe,” he told the opening session of the 60th Munich Security Conference. Mitsotakis also underscored the necessity for Europe’s defense industry to adapt to new geopolitical challenges and evolving military confrontations worldwide. Read more

February 15, 2024 - Greece sees maintaining high growth rates in 2024 and 2025 with focus on investments - The European Commission sees a stable growth rate of 2.3% in 2024 and 2025, slightly lower than in the autumn forecast (2.4%) for 2024 and slightly up from November's forecasts for 2025 (2.2%). While strong eurozone economies such as Germany and France are not expected to record high growth rates, Greece in 2024, based on the European Commission’s winter forecasts, will register the second highest growth rate of 2.3%, after Malta. Regarding inflation, it will follow a downward path compared to 2023, to 2.7% in 2024 and to 2% in 2025. Read more

February 11, 2024 - Contacts over C-130Js, F-16 upgrades, Blackhawks - The meeting in Athens on last Friday between representatives of US company Lockheed Martin with the Chief of the Hellenic Air Force General Staff Dimosthenis Grigoriadis will, Kathimerini understands, have a specific agenda, including a number of armament programs in which Greece has expressed interest. More specifically, the US mission aims to revive discussions on the C-130J transport planes. Earlier in the week, the Lockheed Martin team visited Elefsina Air Base, where it was informed about the nature of the missions undertaken by the Greek C-130s and the support problems facing the Air Force’s transport fleet. Discussions are also expected regarding F-16 fighter jets as the Air Force wants to upgrade the 38 Block 50s to Viper level rather than the intermediate Block 50M solution. Read more

February 8, 2024 - Greece to Receive First MH-60R Seahawk Helicopters in 2024 - Greece will be receiving the first three of seven MH-60R Seahawk (Romeo) helicopters within the first few months of 2024, Lockheed Martin confirmed on Wednesday. A Lockheed Martin statement said Sikorsky had completed the testing of the integrated mission systems and sensors aboard three MH-60R Seahawk helicopters for the Hellenic Navy early in December 2023, and confirmed that each helicopter is ready to perform anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions from land or naval ship. Read more

February 7, 2024 - MBDA, Greece Companies to Collaborate on Akeron Missile Projects - Arms giant MBDA has signed agreements with Greek companies Miltech and Altus to collaborate on projects developing systems for the Akeron MP anti-tank missile. The collaboration’s first partnership focuses on creating a missile system launch kit with Miltech, which will be offered on the global market as a capability that can be integrated with light automatic turrets fitted with low-caliber guns.The second collaboration will see the development of tactical drones equipped with the Akeron MP missiles. Altus will assist with integrating the missile into new equipment, including its Atlas 8 Heavy Lifter unmanned aerial vehicle. Read more

February 7, 2024 - Sikorsky Completes Flight Tests Of Three Hellenic Navy MH-60R Helicopters - Greece is set to receive the initial batch of three MH-60R helicopters from Lockheed Martin in the upcoming days, marking the commencement of the delivery of the total seven helicopters. Sikorsky, a Lockheed Martin company, (NYSE: LMT) has completed testing of the integrated mission systems and sensors aboard three MH-60R SEAHAWK ® helicopters purchased by the Hellenic Navy. Completed in early December 2023, the tests verify each MH-60R aircraft is an efficient and effective air weapon system capable of performing anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare missions from land or naval ship. Read more

February 7, 2024 - Air Force looking to sell 18 Mirage fighters - The Hellenic Air Force General Staff is looking for a buyer willing to take 18 of its 4th generation Dassault Mirage 2000EGM/BGM multi-role fighters, which served 332 Hawk Squadron for over 30 years, until 2022. Kathimerini understands that the Hellenic Air Force is looking into the possibility of the fighters’ sale to India, a suggestion which both the Ministry of Defense and the Prime Minister’s office are aware of. The same sources emphasize that both sides are nearly ready to finalize a deal and they do not rule out the possibility that the fighters’ sale could be brought up by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis in a future visit to New Delhi. Read more

February 5, 2024 - Swap: 40 F-35s cost as much as four Soviet S-300 air defenses - The U.S. government has recently approved a hefty deal—an $8.6 billion sale of 40 F-35 fighter jets to Greece. In addition to this, another $200 million in foreign military aid will be directed to this Mediterranean country. This report was revealed by the Greek media outlet, Kathimerini. A certain compromise stands at the core of this situation, as highlighted by Kathimerini. To receive this financial enhancement, Greece is expected to supply its outdated Russian air defense systems and ammunition to Ukraine—a request that has originated directly from the quarters of the White House. Read more

February 5, 2024 - The US arms sale package explained - The cost, the delivery schedules and the real operability of the weapons systems Greece will acquire. Only a few days have passed since the letter of US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis informing him of the Department of State’s approval of the sale of advanced F-35 multi-mission aircraft and other weapons systems and an intense, and not always cool-headed, debate has erupted about a series of large arms procurement programs. The sale of the fifth generation F-35s is just the most emblematic one. Read more

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