The proposed long-range loitering munition system, 'IRIX'. (Photo: paramountgroup.com)
NEW YORK – On the opening day of the Defense Exhibition in Athens (DEFEA 2023), a joint announcement from Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS) and South Africa’s Paramount Group underscored a significant revitalization of Greece’s indigenous defense and aerospace competencies, as highlighted in a press release issued by Paramount.
The proposed long-range loitering munition system, aptly named ‘IRIX’ after the hawk in Greek poet Homer’s works, is set to make Greek history. This project marks Greece’s entry into the exclusive club of nations producing loitering munitions, positioning IRIX among the most advanced and longest-range systems in Europe.
The agreement signifies the commencement of manufacturing globally competitive long-range loitering munitions on Greek soil, catering to both domestic requirements and global defense markets.
EAS, a Greek state-owned organization with a rich 140-year legacy in designing and supplying NATO-type defense systems to the Greek Armed Forces, is the main player in this significant endeavor. The Hellenic Ministry of Finance is the principal shareholder, with the company under the purview of the Ministry of National Defense.
Nikolaos Kostopoulos, CEO of EAS, expressed his enthusiasm about the partnership with Paramount, one of the trailblazers in the loitering munitions industry. “We are immensely proud of IRIX, an innovative product developed for the Greek market. It stands as a beacon for the redevelopment and enhancement of the Greek defense industry,” Kostopoulos stated.
IRIX’s design is anchored on Paramount’s state-of-the-art N-Raven unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology, digitally designed for swift technology transfer, empowering governments to manufacture loitering munitions domestically.
This partnership ensures the seamless transfer of technology and skills for the co-production of IRIX in Greece. It also guarantees EAS’ continued involvement in research and development for future enhancements to the IRIX system.
Steve Griessel, Paramount Global CEO, emphasized the shared commitment to producing affordable and highly customizable solutions. “We are privileged to jointly develop and produce the IRIX in Greece, leveraging our decades of unmanned aerial innovation and portable production expertise,” Griessel said.
The collaboration plans to incorporate other Greek companies in the supply chain, promoting wider participation and autonomy within the Greek Defense Industry.
IRIX, a cost-effective UAV and loitering munition system, is designed to bolster the armed forces’ aerial reconnaissance, engagement, and precision strike capabilities. It will provide real-time actionable intelligence, enabling commanders to neutralize high-value targets deep within enemy lines.
George Kyriakos, CEO of Paramount Industries Greece, highlighted the crucial role of loitering munitions in modern warfare and its implications for national security. He concluded, “The partnership between Paramount Industries Greece and EAS will address the growing need for advanced and precise loitering munitions, enhancing Greece’s defense capabilities, as well as NATO and European defense capabilities, while simultaneously bolstering our local industry and creating high-tech jobs.”
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