ATHENS – Seeing Turkey becoming a supplier of drones to countries at war that can even kill tanks from the sky – and with tensions still taut between them, Greece hopes to have its first drones working by 2024.
The design of what’s called Unmanned Aerial Vehicles is heading into the final stages, said the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI) which said the first of them is expected to be in operation in about two years, reported Kathimerini.
The project is being implemented in a partnership between the HAI and the universities of Thessaloniki, Thrace and Thessaly and is called Archytas, named for an ancient Greek mathematician, aimed at improving defense and security amid intermittent worries of a conflict with Turkey.
It was discussed in a meeting organized by the Office of Associates of the Finance Ministry for Research and Innovation, the HAI and the University of Thessaly to bring together those responsible for developing the drones.
That took place at the University of Thessaly in the central Greek city of Lamia to talk about how to use drones to also watch sea and land borders in another plan to keep out refugees and migrants.
They could also be used to check on protesters and for civil protection or commercial use, funded by the Finance Ministry, but it wasn’t said if they will be designed to also have weapons capability.
“The effort is continuing and expanding, so that our country can take its place in the international arena as a certified designer and producer of high and innovative technology products,” said Finance Minister Christos Staikouras. “It is clear that this course will bring multiple benefits to the stakeholders, the Greek economy and the country as a whole,” he added, said the paper, but it wasn’t said why Greece, with a renowned scientific base, had taken so long to get around to developing them as it also has a space agency that’s being funded.