LARISSA – The renewal of a military cooperation deal has seen American combat drones being deployed at the air base in Greece’s central city of Larissa as NATO is expanding its defense capabilities, media reports said.
The drones will be used to protect the airspace of Greece and the Mediterranean Sea where Turkey is challenging the sovereignty of Greek waters and islands and ratcheting up tension.
For now, the contract for the drones is for two years, with the possibility of Parliament extending the term and Greece negotiating to buy three of them, said the Bulgaria news site Novinite.
Following US investments of $33 million, the base in Larissa is also a training ground for NATO pilots with Greek pilots ranking among the best and having won honors for being first among their colleagues.
The report said that eight MQ-Reaper drones are in use at the base where the Greek Air Force is also locating new French-made Rafale fighter jets as the New Democracy government is bolstering the military arsenal.