Israel’s defense company Aeronautics, owned by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Stolero Aeron, agreed to supply Greece with Orbiter 3 unmanned aerial systems (UAVs) in a government-to-government contract.
The deal is part of the sale of Rafael’s Spike missiles to the country in a package worth 370 million euros ($404 million).
The Orbiter 3, which has a maximum take-off weight of 32 kilograms (71 pounds) and can fly for as long as six hours, is suitable for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance missions.
The agreement will see “dozens” of the drone supplied to the Greek Ministry of Defense, the company said in a statement.
The initial announcement of the Spike deal made no mention of the Orbiter 3 and Israel’s Ministry of Defense did not elaborate.
Aeronautics noted that as part of the contract, “Rafael will provide an advanced solution enabling significant operational advantage to the modern battlefield; while the Orbiter 3 systems detect, recognize and identify (DRI) the target, the Spike missiles, launched from the air, sea, or land can rapidly close the sensor-to-shooter loop, using the Fire Weaver; C4I system.”
Dan Slasky, CEO of Aeronautics Group said: “We are proud to be a part of this significant cooperation with Rafael in the G2G agreement with the Greek MOD. We also thank the Israeli Ministry of Defense, which has invested significant efforts to facilitate the agreement, and to the Greek Ministry of Defense for expressing its confidence in the Aeronautics’ solution.”
Israel to provide UAVs to Greece after agreement on missiles
The UAV is runway-independent and can carry various types of payloads, as well as navigate in GPS-denied environments and in harsh weather conditions.
In 2019 Aeronautics said it would supply the Orbiter 3 to an unnamed country in Asia and it also won a contract to another unnamed client in South America.
In late March, Greece approved the long-stalled purchase of the Israeli-made Spike-NLOS missiles.
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.
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.