According to trusted sources of the Greek paramilitary resource defencenet.gr, in connection with the aggravation of relations with Turkey and their possible transition into a "hot" phase, intensive negotiations with Russia on the modernization of the air defense systems supplied to Greece and Cyprus have resumed.
Greeks want an "upgrade"
First of all, we are talking about negotiations on the modernization of the long-range anti-aircraft missile system (SAM) (well, for the air defense air defense system of the Russian Aerospace Forces, this is already a medium-range) S-300PMU-1 to the S-300PMU-2 Favorit version. Formally, it was this air defense missile system of the Russian Federation in the amount of two anti-aircraft missile divisions (2 zrdn) that supplied Cyprus, but in view of the then Turkish hysteria about this, the air defense system was delivered to Crete, while formally it was considered to belong to Cyprus, then, however, it legally became Greek ... The hysteria of the Turks was quite understandable: the S-300 is quite capable of blocking the skies over the "Turkish-proclaimed" after the occupation of the northern part of the island by the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus".
Over the years of operation, the Greeks managed, by the way, to "kill" the system, and Russian specialists had to restore its technical readiness, but then they failed to agree on modernization. Although the modernization itself does not fall under the prohibitions introduced by the NATO member states in 2014 after the reunification of Crimea with Russia and the operation of the Russian Armed Forces, which provided it, as well as after the events in Donbass. By the way, the Greek media usually do not write about the "intervention" or "aggression of the Russian Federation" against Ukraine, which is customary for the West, or about the "annexation of Crimea," but call it "the reunification of Crimea with a single Russian national tree" or something similar. that this is a program of maintaining combat capability, supplying spare parts and modernizing, and not purchasing new weapons. ”At one time, the Greeks refused to buy Kornet-EM ATGMs precisely under pressure from the United States, and not only because of this.
However, even before 2014, they abandoned a number of other procurement programs in Russia, but for financial reasons: there was no money, and the Germans for someone else's weapon no loans were given. Which, by the way, did not prevent the Greeks in the media and social networks from expressing their grievance that the Russian Federation was selling an export deteriorated version of the S-400 air defense system to the Turks. Apparently, Russia should have given it to the Greeks for free instead. If the Greeks want the S-400, they will sell it. Exactly the same as the Turks. However, the Greeks also manage to take offense at the fact that Russia does not climb across the hell to intercede for Greece in the conflict with Turkey, and the Turks manage to be offended that they have no allies. And what have we got to do with it? There are too many countries and supposedly fraternal peoples on the planet, which Russia owes as land to the collective farm.
Essence of desire
As the Greeks write, the modernization of the S-300PMU-1 to the S-300PMU-2 will bring them closer in capabilities to the Turkish export S-400, to which 40N6E missiles with a range limited to 380 km have not been supplied, although the configuration of the system allows their use in the future (needed corresponding launchers). It includes replacing the existing command center of the division with 54Κ6Ε2, illumination and guidance radar (RPN) with 30N6Ε2, and surveillance radar (RLO) with 64N6E2. In addition, the 96L6E radar (all-altitude detector, VVO), the one that recently "lit up" in Libya along with the launcher in one of the photos from near Ras Lanuf, is being introduced into the system, which caused a lot of noise. VVO replaces radar 36D6 (ST-68UM) and low-altitude detector (NVO) 76N6E.
Of course, the 48N6E missiles are also being replaced with 48N6E2 with a maximum range of 200 km instead of 150 for the existing ones. As a result, as the Greeks write, the system in Crete will cover even Rhodes and provide air defense to great depths in all the Dodecanese Islands and in the maritime zone east of Crete. The new (for the Greeks, of course) improved missile has a much higher protection against any countermeasures, 1,5 times more warheads, with a new method of controlled formation of a fragmentation field of heavy fragments (which is especially important when fighting ballistic missiles), maneuverability and other characteristics. The probability of hitting targets has also increased: from 80% to 93% for a fighter-type target and from 80 to 98% against cruise missiles.
In addition, the modernized system has much better capabilities to repel attacks by ballistic missiles, including medium-range missiles. The radars of the complex have much higher capabilities for inconspicuous targets with an EPR level of 0,01 sq. m and below, also the ability to use for target detection and RPN and VO, and not just RLO, albeit with worse capabilities. The noise immunity will at least increase by an order of magnitude.
Summing up, we can say that the advantages of upgrading to the level of S-300PMU-2 Favorit are, according to the Greeks:
- increasing destructiveness against ballistic targets moving at high speed, causing detonation of the warhead of an enemy missile;
- improving efficiency for highly maneuverable aerodynamic targets, including targets flying from different directions at extremely low altitudes;
- immunity to electronic interference of any kind and in harsh environmental conditions, such as the environment of the Aegean Sea;
- increased flight range reaches 200 km;
- increasing the effectiveness of the target due to the heavier and smarter warhead;
- increased command and control capabilities due to the 83M6E2 system, which allows simultaneous detection and destruction of ballistic missiles, aircraft and cruise missiles without loss of existing radar resources;
- improving the operational characteristics of the system during autonomous operation due to the use of a new generation radar 96L6E;
- increased efficiency under the WTO;
- full interface for interfacing with NATO systems (the existing system has some problems with this);
- significantly increased computing power and highly developed software that appeared after many years of experience and testing;
- the possibility of simultaneous destruction of up to 36 air targets by guiding 72 missiles has been increased (as part of a full-strength regiment, which the Greeks do not have).
Pros, cons, pitfalls
Negotiations began where the previous ones left off, and it is recommended that a qualified Greek-Russian military commission investigate all possibilities and draw up a timetable for the necessary work. The cost of the entire program, according to the Greeks, is quite low compared to the expected result and the cost of the new S-300PMU-2 system (which, in addition, has not been produced for some time, customers are already being offered export versions of the S-400). They also expect that the upgrade is not expected to last long, since, in addition to the 96L6E radar, all other subsystems can be upgraded directly at the "E2" level (meaning the E2 index at the end of each item of the export "Favorite"). The existing 2 divisions, according to the Greeks, can be consistently modernized within a few months by a group of Russian specialists without the need to move systems from Crete.
But this is "Wishlist". But the reality is somewhat harsher towards these dreams of the Greek side (or the Greek media, more precisely, those of the Greek military who "leaked" all this information to the media). And that's why.
As mentioned above, the Greeks "killed a little" their two-division regiment to the point of impossibility of using it some time ago. They refer to the harsh maritime climate, but, as one thinks, the climate, which is certainly not very useful for "three hundred" and "four hundred", is much less destructive than the Greeks try to portray. There are dozens of regiments in the air defense missile systems of our VKS, and many of them guard the skies of Russia (and not only Russia) in coastal areas. In the Black Sea, the Caspian, the Baltic, the Pacific and the North, as well as Syria. Our allies in the CSTO have regiments, and our Chinese friends and allies, and among them there are also those located in the humid maritime climate. There is also Algeria and many other states. But both in our country and in many of these states, for some reason, divisions are kept in service, naturally, with proper maintenance and use. So, in this case, someone's hands are much more to blame than the blessed Aegean Sea. These Russian specialists restored the divisions to working condition, restored them - and this was proved by the conducted firing.
But not only Greeks "killed" their divisions. There are also Azerbaijanis who also refer to the harsh climate of the Caspian. They met in an even shorter timeframe than the Greeks, who received their divisions in the distant 1998-1999. Azerbaijan bought the S-300PMU-2 two-division regiment 10 years ago, in 2010-2011, and now those divisions require "sudden" refurbishment, and for this they will most likely be sent to Russia. And there are also Bulgarians who are also willing to pay for the restoration of their rarity - S-300PMU, purchases from the late USSR. And then there are Slovaks. And the Greeks are unlikely to be able to convince all these guys as in the queue at the cash registers: "Can I just buy beer and cigarettes?" Well, or like a doctor: "I just have to ask." And the Greeks need it urgently. For urgency you have to pay extra. And, by the way, it is far from a fact that the modernization of the Greek divisions can be carried out on the spot: they may have to be sent to Russia as well.
There is one more unpleasant moment for Greece. It is a system resource. It is 20 years for this modification without further extension. It can be extended, but this increases the cost of modernization. And without this, they can not be started. And the Greeks' estimates of the cost of such a deep modernization seem to be very underestimated. Just replacing ammunition with a number of, say, a hundred missiles will cost at least more than 100 million long-dead American presidents. Refurbishment of the system nodes and the extension of the resource can be 30-40% of the cost. Nobody will remake the command control of the division into a new modification - it will simply be replaced, that is, they will pay as for a new one. The BBO, as the Greeks themselves write, is new, and will pay at full price. As if all the work did not cost half the price of the new "Favorite", and not with a resource of 20 years, but much less. Maybe it's better to buy an export S-400, and that's all? And in a few months it is possible to carry out the work itself (well, say, in six months - in reality, it can be even faster if they pay extra). And a detailed survey of systems, preparation of a contract and everything else is clearly not one month. No matter how it lasts for a year and a half. However, the Greeks will definitely not receive the new system earlier: the queue for the S-400 is as large as for the "Pantsir", and is constantly growing, and no one will yield to the Greeks there. Maybe the game is ... worth it.
The question remains: where from the ever-penniless Greeks lately (because the Germans have to pay their debts) will the money be taken for all this? Although, on the other hand, they found money on the Rafali and new frigates in France, and they will find it on air defense systems. Moreover, it smells of war. But no matter how this war began much earlier than they all think ... Although, on the other hand, the Greeks and Turks can beat themselves in the chest with their upper and lower extremities for a long time, shouting the ritual: "Don't hold me, otherwise I won't stand it! "
They have been shouting for more than a dozen years, they can shout further. But it often happens that the gun on the wall shoots by itself. And then the situation will follow an unpredictable scenario, because relations are now extremely strained. And not only among the Greeks with the Turks, but also among the Egyptians with the Turks, and among the Israelis and the French.