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Greece to Manufacture New Border Surveillance Drones

Greece's New Drone
The new border surveillance drone will be named IDEX 2021:LOTUS. Credit: Intracom Defense

Greece will manufacture a new, innovative, border surveillance drone. Named the IDEX 2021: LOTUS, which represents the next generation of unmanned surveillance aircraft, the aerial vehicle will be manufactured by a Greek firm.

The Greek company Intracom Defense (IDE) signed an agreement with the European Commission for the tactical Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, or UAV, which has been specially designed for border surveillance and reconnaissance and what the company calls “high value targets.”

A grant agreement for 9.7 million euros which was approved last July will secure the funding necessary for the production of the drone, called a Low Observable Tactical Unmanned System, or LOTUS.

The grant was part of the European Defense Industrial Development Program, or EDIDP.

Greece’s Drone: Stealth, airworthiness and artificial intelligence

According to IDEX, the LOTUS has a number of innovative characteristics, including:

– Stealth properties, hiding it from enemy forces
– Stand-off operational capabilities
– Airworthiness and interoperability based on NATO standards
– Reliable communications
– Extensive adoption of Artificial Intelligence
– Cybersecurity and Expandability to support additional missions

In addition, the firm says that some of the platform’s advanced features cannot be incorporated in existing designs, which will provide LOTUS with a strong competitive advantage relative to other UAVs .

The LOTUS program will be based on prior experience and know-how acquired through the collaboration of IDE with key partners in previous RPAS designs, including HCUAV, which has already been flight-tested, and DELAER, which is expected to perform flights next year.

Greece, in cooperation with the participating EU member nations, now has a unique opportunity not only to demonstrate the country’s industrial capability to develop state-of-the-art technologies, but also to collaborate with a wide group of participating private and public sector EU partners.

Greece Participates in International Defense Program

The consortium of companies and entities taking part in the LOTUS program is coordinated by IDE and comprises of industrial, scientific and military groups from Greece, Cyprus , Spain, and the Netherlands.

Greek firms and groups participating in the LOTUS production include IDE, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, ALTUS, CFT, the University of Patras and the Hellenic Air Force Telecommunications and the Electronics Depot.

Cypriot firms taking part in the development of the new drone include SignalGenerix, Cyric and Geoimaging. Embention, a Spanish firm, will also take part, alongside the Netherlands’ RHEA Group.

The Hellenic Ministry of Defense (HMoD) will be able to field its respective operational requirements and to achieve its self-sufficiency within a 5-year plan, bypassing the obstacle of non-controlled critical systems with the development of the trailblazing drone system.

Moreover, with the development of the LOTUS UAV, the HMoD will have the opportunity to acquire further systems and knowledge which will effectively fill a confirmed capability gap in the country’s defense.

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