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Greek Rocket-Firing Drone Marks International First

The first Greek Combat Drone in trial firing a rocket.
Greek combat drone SARISA SRS-1X UCAV in its first rocket firing trial. Credit: Facebook / SAS Technology

By successfully completing the aerial firing of a Hydra 70 rocket made by Thales Belgium for the Greek combat drone SARISA SRS-1X UCAV on April 25, the Greek company Spirit Aeronautical Systems (SAS Technology) added a new chapter to the history of the Greek and global defense industries.

The effort marked an international first, since a 2.75”/70mm rocket was fired successfully from a small and easily transportable drone, SAS Technology said in a statement.

The firing test took place at a firing range that belongs to the General Directorate for Defense investments and Armaments (GDDIA) of the Greek Ministry of Defence and under its auspices, with the support and active participation of the Hellenic Defense Systems and the European Corporation Specializing in Weapons Manufacturing.

Operational capabilities of Greek combat drone

The real-world trial was a result of a plethora of theoretical analyses of scientific data that required countless hours of work by SAS team members, the company pointed out.

Following its successful first test, the system has been proven capable to provide organic Close Air Support (CAS) capabilities to military units.

Operationally, the Unmanned Combat Aviation Vehicle (UCAV) SARISA is therefore proven to be an effective, economical and versatile substitute for the very expensive attack helicopters, especially when equipped with laser guided rockets.

Some of the operational capabilities of the SARISA/2.75”/70mm system, either with a guided or unguided rocket would be in the defence of islands against naval invasion operations; in Spécial Forces operations; as an organic system on Naval Units; and in many other similar applications as an organic system, at the disposal of the local Commanders, reducing their reliance on limited operational resources such as fighter jets and attack helicopters.

Greek combat drone SARISA SRS-1X UCAV in its first rocket firing trial.
Greek combat drone SARISA SRS-1X UCAV in its first rocket firing trial. Credit: Facebook / SAS Technology

Next steps of the first Greek UCAV development program

SAS Technology now aspires to move to the next steps of the program, which will include additional fire testing, mainly with Thales’ Laser Guided Rocket FZ275, to optimize the targeting capabilities and develop the operational tactics of the system.

It is the first Greek company that succeeded not only in conceiving, designing, and manufacturing professional unmanned systems, but also in developing the capability to install and successfully test on them many different weapons and ammunition in addition to Thales Belgium’s 2.75”/70mm rocket, thus creating the first Greek UCAV, the SARISA SRS-1A, with the UCAV ARES ARS1A and EMPUSA EMP-X6T following shortly after.

The unmanned systems technology subsidiary of Spirit World Group, SAS Technology was founded in July 2020, triggered by “the realization of the ever increasing potential and dynamics in the global and domestic market for unmanned systems and their applications, which reach almost every aspect of modern industry and trade.

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