ATHENS – Greece is rapidly trying to play catch-up in drone technology after witnessing how the so-called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Turkey sold to Ukraine were wiping out Russian tanks.
The Turkish drones sold to Azerbaijan also proved instrumental in defeating Armenia in their conflict and are a formidable weapon because they also stay aloft up to 24 hours and are difficult to counter.
Some military analysts have even wondered whether the drones have made tanks useless but Greece – which had been putting its defense money into more conventional weapons – is far behind Turkey in the field.
The New Democracy government, which had focused on buying Rafale fighter jets and warships from France and building alliances against Turkey in fear of a potential conflict, is now looking to add UAV’s, build them and also try to develop defenses against them, said Kathimerini.
A French proposal for the supply of new Patroller drones and anti-UAV systems made in France was presented to the Hellenic National Defense General Staff (GEETHA) the paper said.
But the focus is now strongly on developing an Iron Dome that can be a shield against drones, Israeli technology that can disorient them and intervene even when they are on a scheduled mission or controlled by ground stations, the report added.
There are also discussions about how to strengthen Greece’s Armed Forces beyond the rented Israeli HERON-1s that operating from the island of Skyros and the old technology Sperwer and Pegasus III.
Greece also is said to be talking with Israel and the United States about suppying MQ- Reaper drones and while the government is looking at trying to build them domestically the paper said the prospects are not good to do so swiftly for now.
The worry built after seeing how decisive the Turkish Bayraktar TB2 drone has been on the Ukrainian battlefield, with sources not named telling the paper they were involved in sinking Russia’s Black Sea Fleet flagship Moskva.