On Wednesday, Greece approved the long-stalled purchase of the Israeli-made Spike-NLOS missiles.
The decision was taken during a meeting of the National Security Council which was chaired by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the Prime Minister’s Office said in a statement.
During the meeting, the latest developments regarding the country’s ongoing armament program were also discussed, it added.
Israeli missiles can reach 32 kilometers
Spike NLOS is a multi-purpose, electro-optical/infrared missile system. Its advanced rocket motor provides the capability to reach ranges up to 32 kilometers.
Operators can integrate Spike NLOS with ground, aviation or maritime platforms – while leveraging its stand-off capability to strike distant or geographically concealed targets without line-of-sight.
The weapon’s seeker and wireless datalink provide operators with real-time video imagery and man-in-the-loop control throughout the missile’s flight. This provides operators with the opportunity to alter or abort the mission while en route to the target.
The missiles are produced by Israeli defense manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems. Rafael develops and produces weapons, military, and defense technologies for the Israel Defense Forces and for export abroad. All current projects are classified.
Rafael has teamed with Lockheed Martin to offer the weapon system to U.S. customers. Today, this combat-proven, long-range precision strike system is in service with U.S. forces and six international countries.
Greece boosts defense with Israeli missiles
Greece recently signed multiple big-ticket arms agreements, including a deal for drones from Israel, Rafale jets from France, and upgrades to its F-16 fleet from the US.
Athens also approached Washington for the potential purchase of at least 20 F-35 stealth aircraft, and Berlin for the update of its Leopard 2 tank fleet and purchases of Lynx armored vehicles.
A recent report by NATO showed that Greece has the highest defense spending as a percentage of GDP among all allies, including the US.
According to NATO’s Annual Report for 2022 presented in Brussels by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg, Greece is estimated to have spent 7.44 billion euros on defense last year ($8.01 billion).
This represents 3.54 percent of GDP. The US is in second place with a defense expenditure of 3.46 percent of GDP. Lithuania, Poland, the United Kingdom, Estonia, and Latvia follow. Greece and the above 6 countries have achieved the NATO guideline of 2 percent of GDP on defense. Turkey has only spent 1.37 percent of its GDP on defense.
Greece has seen a spectacular rise in its defense expenditure since 2019 when the conservative government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis assumed power and vowed to modernize its armed forces to improve the balance of power in the Aegean.
Previously, years of austerity had kept defense expenditure in Greece low.
Defense expenditure in 2019 was 4,483 billion euros, in 2020 4,812 billion, and gradually increased to 6,764 billion in 2021 and 7,445 billion in 2022.
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