Military Review

Features of the Greek defense industry


Joint training of the USMC and the Greek Airborne Forces

Greece has a fairly numerous and well-developed armed forces, including the ground forces, the air force and the navy. Also, the country has a developed defense industry operating in all major areas. However, the potential of such an industry is seriously limited, and its further development is extremely difficult, which is why it is necessary to rely on foreign partners for rearmament.

Army and industry

The total number of personnel of the armed forces of Greece is approx. 145 thousand people. More than 93 thousand are serving in the ground forces. There is a reserve of more than 220 thousand people. FY2020 Defense Budget reached 4,36 billion euros. In the current Global Firepower rating, Greece is ranked 33rd in the world and 13th in Europe.

The Greek army is armed with a variety of infantry weapons, armored vehicles and artillery of the main classes. The Air Force is based on tactical aviation, whose activity is provided by a number of auxiliary classes. The Navy has a fairly large submarine and surface forces. The largest ships are frigates of two types; the most numerous are missile boats.

Ceremonial calculation tanks Leopard 2A6 HEL

The Greek defense industry includes about a hundred enterprises, both local and branches of foreign companies. All main directions are presented, from the production of small arms weapons and cartridges for devices and finished equipment. At the same time, Greek enterprises cannot independently produce all the required military products, which leads to the purchase of foreign products or to their joint production.

For ground forces

From the middle of the XX century. the bulk of weapons and equipment for the army were supplied from the United States, and later cooperation with other countries was established. Over time, the Greek industry has mastered the licensed assembly of weapons and equipment. Self-developed samples are few in number and generally do not affect the overall situation.

So, the infantry actively uses various automatic rifles, submachine guns and other samples of German design, produced under license by Ellinika Amyntika Systimata. Ready-made weapons of various types were purchased from the USA, Belgium, Great Britain, etc. Own design is not developed. In the field of infantry missile and anti-tank systems, the situation is the same.

Self-propelled artillery exercises

The American-made M60 tanks, previously modernized by the forces of the Greek industry, remain in service. The basis of the armored forces are the newer Leopard 1 and Leopard 2 of various modifications. Of great interest is the Leopard 2A6 HEL MBT, modified to meet Greek requirements. The production of such tanks was carried out in the framework of cooperation between the German company KMW and the Greek company ELBO. A total of 170 units were built.

In the field of field artillery, our own production is represented by two mortars from EAS and a licensed copy of the Austrian system. Towed and self-propelled artillery - only foreign models. The situation is similar in the field of air defense, but it contains an interesting Greek development - the Artemis-30 anti-aircraft artillery mount. However, only 16 such products are in service.

Armored vehicles for infantry are mainly represented by American models - different versions of the M113 armored personnel carrier. However, in the eighties ELBO mastered the production of the Leonidas-2 armored personnel carrier - a modification of the Austrian Saurer 4K 4FA. In a similar way, the army was supplied with some samples of automotive equipment. Some of the cars were bought ready-made, others - in the form of machine kits for licensed assembly.

Anti-aircraft self-propelled gun BMP1A1-OST based on BMP-1

The army aviation operates attack and transport helicopters, light aircraft and several types of UAVs. However, all these samples were purchased abroad in finished form. The main suppliers were the USA and Italy.

A few products of our own design are limitedly exported. In addition, Greek enterprises are involved in various international projects and supply foreign partners with a wide range of components for the production of various weapons and equipment.

Air Force development

The backbone of the Greek Air Force is made up of American-made F-16C / D multipurpose fighters - about 150 units. There are also dozens of French Mirage IIIs and American F-4Es. Their combat work should be provided by Brazilian AWACS aircraft Embraer E-99, electronic warfare aircraft based on the C-130, etc. There are more than a dozen transport aircraft and helicopters of various classes, as well as a large number of training vehicles.

F-16C fighters of the Greek Air Force

Almost all aviation equipment of the Air Force is of foreign origin, with the exception of the Pegasus UAV from Hellenic Aerospace Industry. The latter is the leading Greek company in the aviation industry. HAI does not manufacture any aircraft, but is actively working to modernize the existing fleet, both independently and together with foreign organizations. In addition, HAI makes components for foreign assembly equipment, and is also engaged in several promising international projects.

Such approaches will continue for the foreseeable future. The Air Force will continue to operate foreign equipment; purchase of new foreign samples is possible. The role of their own enterprises will be limited to the repair and modernization of the material part. There are no plans to create our own aircraft.

Naval issues

Greece has a fairly developed shipbuilding, but construction fleet also does not do without foreign assistance. So, the submarine forces of the Navy include 11 non-nuclear submarines of German projects "209" and "214". Some of the submarines were built by Germany, others in Greece at Hellenic Shipyards SA - with the direct assistance of the German side.

Attack helicopter AH-64D

The construction of four Hydra-class frigates (modification of the German MEKO 200) was carried out in a similar way. In the nineties and two thousand years, the Netherlands sold 10 Kortenaer-class PLO frigates to Greece, later renamed to the Elli class. Later, the Greek industry carried out the modernization of these ships.

There is a fairly large fleet of missile boats - approx. 20 units Basically, these are boats of the types of French design of the La Combattante series projects, renamed Votsis, Kavaloudis and Laskos. Three boats were bought from France, nine more were built in Greece under license. Since 2005, the construction of boats of the Roussen type according to the British project has been carried out. In July 2020, the Elefsis Shipyard delivered the last seventh boat.

The landing forces of the Greek Navy are of great interest. They include five large amphibious assault ships of the Yason class of our own construction and four Soviet ships of the project 1232.2 Zubr, purchased from Russia and Ukraine.

Frigate HS Navarinon F461 Dutch built

The Navy has a significant number of artillery and patrol boats. There are transport ships, tankers, boats for various purposes, etc. The construction of medium-sized warships and boats and support vessels was mainly carried out independently.

Despite the limited potential in terms of building new combat and auxiliary units, the Greek industry independently carries out maintenance and modernization of existing ships. Measures are being taken to increase the potential of industry, incl. providing for cooperation with third countries.

By yourself and with the help

In general, the Greek defense industry is capable of independently producing some military products required by the armed forces. At the same time, in a significant part of the regions, one has to rely on foreign assistance or direct deliveries of finished products.

Large landing craft HS Ikaria L175 of "Jason" type, Greek construction

Despite such restrictions, Greece manages to independently provide for the operation and maintenance of cash material. In addition, there are export supplies and participation in international projects. This shows that in the developed areas, the Greek industry has a fairly high potential, which is of interest not only for the domestic customer.

There are no prerequisites for changing the current situation. For the development of new directions, such as the independent development of armored or aviation equipment, significant financial investments and other rather complex measures are required. In recent years, Greece has been facing economic problems, which virtually excludes the possibility of a radical modernization of industry and the expansion of its spheres of activity. However, participation in promising international projects contributes to the accumulation of experience that can be used in the future.

Thus, with the help of its own defense industry and with the assistance of foreign countries, Greece was able to build a sufficiently modern, large and effective armed force that is not inferior to other armies in the region and generally meets the needs of the country. At the same time, according to a number of parameters, the Greek army lags behind other armed forces. To overcome this lag, it is necessary to develop our industry and expand its ties with foreign colleagues - but the current situation does not facilitate the acceleration of such processes.
Photos used:
Greek Department of Defense, US Department of Defense, Wikimedia Commons
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Mavrikiy
    Mavrikiy 7 August 2020 05: 53
    four Soviet ships pr. 1232.2 "Zubr"
    For the beaches of Antalya, the most it.
    Well, the military-industrial complex is quite for itself, for a small European country. Here are just the Turks ..... but will pull. They will stand. recourse
    1. Finches
      Finches 7 August 2020 06: 31
      What I personally like is that two members of the same military bloc, hostile to Russia, have a stable relationship of mutual antipathy ...
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 7 August 2020 06: 45
    It is necessary to adopt the Greek experience, in Russia there is everything for this .. smile
  3. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 7 August 2020 06: 46
    The last time I read about the military-industrial complex of Greece in the "Foreign Military Review" for the year was 87-88.
    And, interestingly, not much has changed!
    1. zyablik.olga
      zyablik.olga 7 August 2020 07: 19
      Quote: Leader of the Redskins
      The last time I read about the military-industrial complex of Greece in the "Foreign Military Review" for the year was 87-88.
      And, interestingly, not much has changed!

      The author did not dig deeply. Very superficial.
  4. A. Privalov
    A. Privalov 7 August 2020 07: 07
    "Greece has everything." (C)
  5. Okolotochny
    Okolotochny 7 August 2020 07: 38
    The photo of the aircraft in the article is signed by F-16. This is definitely F-16 Especially not a specialist, but an amateur. But planes are like Typhoon or Tornado.
    1. URAL72
      URAL72 7 August 2020 10: 41
      Yes, this is Typhoon.
  6. Doctor
    Doctor 7 August 2020 08: 38
    The article is average, but the idea is good. I would like to see on VO a series of articles about modern armies of small states. With a sensible analysis of the combat strength and capabilities.

    On the example of some of them, one can well understand what kind of army is actually needed to defend the country, and not to conquer the world.
    You can start with the Scandinavians and Switzerland.
    1. URAL72
      URAL72 7 August 2020 10: 46
      History suggests that not large armies of small states have never saved them in case of aggression. Switzerland's independence does not rest on its army.
      1. Doctor
        Doctor 8 August 2020 10: 21
        History suggests that not large armies of small states have never saved them in case of aggression. Switzerland's independence does not rest on its army.

        Well, Finland was able to fight back?
        And you are wrong about Switzerland. The whole country is an army there.
        1. URAL72
          URAL72 8 August 2020 10: 39
          Finland could not fight back. As in 45m, the Union took only what it claimed. The international pressure was very great, and if we had all of Finland, WWII would have been in the war of Europe against the USSR. Hitler would have received eastern territories, and the war in the west would have become irrelevant. Until I had mastered the eastern territories, I had not resettled millions of Germans there, I would have received oil and food. Switzerland as a territory is not needed by anyone. She already worked for the Germans. Win the Franks, I would work for them. Is it independence? The population there is Germans, Franks, Italians. Everyone has their influence, everyone is happy.
          1. Doctor
            Doctor 8 August 2020 19: 39
            Switzerland as a territory is not needed by anyone. She already worked for the Germans. Win the Franks, I would work for them. Is it independence? The population there is Germans, Franks, Italians. Everyone has their influence, everyone is happy.

            How did it work? In the mines in striped robes?
            They still work for the whole world.

            The volume of Russian exports in 2017 is $ 336 million.
            As in Switzerland, there are 337.
            But Switzerland is home to 8,5 million.

            Just think, we have, with all our oil and gas, 2400 dollars per person, they have almost 40 dollars with their watches and little knives.

            I would do that too.
            1. URAL72
              URAL72 8 August 2020 20: 19
              I don't understand anything about economics, but you don't seem to have even heard that word. Their main sector of the economy is finance. But who do they belong to? That and profit. Remind you of the power of the economy of the great Cyprus? Switzerland, under pressure from the states, lost its main trump card - the secrecy of deposits. Now prosperity will gradually change to withering.
              1. Doctor
                Doctor 8 August 2020 20: 45
                Their main sector of the economy is finance.

                A common misconception. The banking sector in Switzerland is 9% of GDP.

                A third of Switzerland's exports are chemicals and pharmaceuticals.

                Novartis International AG is the second largest pharmaceutical company in the world (Voltaren Emulgel, Tavegil, Teraflu, Fenistil, Sinekod, Otrivin, and half of our pharmacies).
                Roche Holding - more than Gazprom earned on Tamiflu alone during the swine flu era.
                ABB - the best sockets and switches that an electrician can advise you.
                They sold one watch and knives for 38 !!! billion.
                Plus jeweler, zhrachka (Nestlé), etc.

                Well, about how fighting in the Swiss mountains was best said by one Great General:

  7. Observer2014
    Observer2014 7 August 2020 16: 52
    Anti-aircraft self-propelled gun BMP1A1-OST based on BMP-1
    This really amazed me.
    In general, to tell honestly about the picture I saw of the Greek military-industrial complex !? Wretchedness. Wretchedness exactly until the moment the World that we know collapses. Then the Turks will force the Greeks to remember about their military-industrial complex. And until then ... Let's get patient and wait.
  8. Viktor Sergeev
    Viktor Sergeev 7 August 2020 17: 35
    The main feature is its complete absence.
  9. Gloomy skeptic
    Gloomy skeptic 8 August 2020 13: 24
    Quote: URAL72
    and if we took all of Finland, WWII would be a war of Europe against the USSR.

    And in reality, the USSR did not fight with all of Europe during WWII? And who did not fight against the USSR? Even Switzerland and Sweden of the "neutral" type were considered, but even their military fought against the USSR in fascist hordes, I will not say anything about the other European crowd.
    Name not a country, but at least a nationality whose representatives were not in the army of the Nazis?
    1. DeFalco
      DeFalco 30 October 2020 18: 26
      And how many of these same "representatives" were there in the fascist hordes? Whole armies marched?
  10. futuramer001
    futuramer001 16 August 2020 05: 45
    The article is not bad. But not a word about the receipt of weapons and equipment from the FRG of the former NNA of the GDR. It would also be nice to mention the story with the order by Cyprus of the S300 air defense system, which were later transferred to Greece. And about the production of Leopards is somehow crumpled. Meanwhile, this is the only operating production of these tanks from scratch.