Greece is to purchase the multi-purpose Israeli missile called Spike NLOS in order to strengthen its military presence in the Aegean and Evros.
The acquisition of the state-of-the-art Israeli missile puts a powerful weapon system in the hands of the Greek Armed Forces to protect the country’s land and sea borders.
The Spike NLOS (non-line-of sight), designed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd, is a multi-purpose electro-optical missile system with a real-time wireless data link for ranges up to 25km.
Furthermore, the Spike NLOS can be installed on on a variety of land, air and sea platforms such as helicopters, ships and land vehicles.
The deal is only a part of the Greece-France Strategic Partnership, signed on September 26 between French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
Along with the frigade purchase deal, the two heads of state also signed an ageement for mutual assistance in the case of an attack by a third country.
A response to Ankara’s provocations
Greece’s deal for the acquisition of the Israeli missile system comes after Turkey’s escalation of provocative acts in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean.
According to a Hellas Journal report, the Hellenic Army is eager to employ the Israeli missiles in Evros, on the Greece-Turkey border.
Also, the Spike NLOS system will be installed on the four Machitis-class gunboats of the Hellenic Navy and Apache Delta helicopters for protection of the Greek islands.
Quoting Hellenic Navy sources, the report says that the gunboats will be transformed into floating fortresses with long-range capabilities.
The range and accuracy of the Spike NLOS will also turn simple patrol boats into extremely dangerous weapons for the enemy ships that usually move on Greece’s maritime borders.
The installation of the Israeli missile system in the recently acquired MARK V Special Operations Craft, from the US, will reinforce Greece’s naval power even further.
The MARK V with the Spike NLOS installed can deliver sudden hits and deal devastating blows day or night on both watercraft and coastal targets.
The Israelis have already successfully installed the Rafael missile system in their own naval units.
Greece’s total cost of the Israeli missile system will be 370 million euros and is divided into three sub-programs:
The twenty-five Spike Nlos systems to be deployed on islands close to Turkey and Evros will cost 270 million euros.
The Spike NLOS missile system for the Apache Delta helicopters will cost 45 million euros, while the system intended for the gunboats and the MARK V vessels will cost 55 million euros.
Turkey reacts to Greece’s procurement of armaments
Ankara has responded to the recent arms procurements by the Greek government.
“Greece’s arming policies to isolate and alienate Turkey, in fact, are problematic policies that will harm the EU, to which it is itself a member, and threaten regional peace and stability,” a Turkish Foreign Ministry statement said after the Greece-France agreement.
Also, Turkey has often asked for the demilitarization of Greek islands claiming it is a provocative act to have armed forces close to the shores of Turkey.
On Tuesday, Ankara sent a letter to the United Nations with the irrational claim that the choice to maintain an army on these islands deprives Greece of the right of sovereignty on these territories.