Greece is to build a second, more advanced drone utilizing the work and the know-how gained from the “Archytas” program that produced the country’s first Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
The Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) for the financing of the construction of the new drone called Griffin (Γρύπας in Greek) was signed on Thursday by the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (EAV), the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Democritus University of Thrace, the University of Thessaly, and the University of Patras.
The new program for the construction of the drone will be launched on Monday, January 16th, it was noted.
Praising the potential of the “Archytas” program, Finance Minister Christos Staikouras said that “the harmonious cooperation with highly specialized officers of the country’s Armed Forces allows us to be more optimistic about the outcome of this new, important and demanding undertaking.”
Minister of National Defence Nikos Panagiotopoulos observed that “we can go faster than neighboring countries (including those who spent more than ten years) in the development of the new product, as long as an organized and coordinated start occurs.”
“There is good infrastructure, talent, and contribution of the academic institutions, and I think that with the help of the Armed Forces, all good preconditions exist so we can have a final product,” he said.
Greece’s first drone ready to start flights
The UAV is expected to substantially upgrade Greece’s defense as a whole, and it will also join civil protection services. It will be used for surveillance of the country’s land and sea borders, but it can be used for commercial purposes as well.
The UAV is the product of cooperation between the Greek companies EFA Group and Ucandrone PC in cooperation with research teams from the Hellenic Navy, Hellenic Aerospace Industry, and the Universities of Thessaloniki, Thessaly, and Thrace.
Greek experts say that Archytas is using technology employed by the U.S. in the unique fifth-generation fighter, the F-35B, which can take off and land vertically.
According to Jane’s Defence Weekly, the UAV utilizes a single engine driving a pusher propeller for horizontal flight. The VTOL capability is provided by four electrically powered propellers located on the longitudinal beams connecting the wings with the negative-V tail.
The Archytas features landing gear in the form of four struts designed to maximize flight endurance by producing minimal drag.
The UAV, which will have multiple roles, could be used by the armed forces as well as civil protection agencies.