“Deployment” of American weapons systems in Athens
The historically high level of Greek – American relations, as reflected in the signing of the renewed Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement and the speech of the Greek PM, Kyriakos Mitsotakis at the Congress, is confirmed by the significant presence of US companies at DEFEA 2023.
The US Army participates in the International Defense and Security Exhibition with some of the most advanced weapon systems it possesses, which are at the forefront of operations both in the war zones of Ukraine and in other areas of the world, and some of which are also in the scope of the Greek Armed Forces.
HIMARS and Black Hawks
Known for their effectiveness, the American M142 HIMARS rocket launchers manufactured by Lockheed Martin are expected to be present at DEFEA, according to information. The powerful weapon system remains at the center of interest for its successes on the battlefield and following the announcement by Lockheed Martin and Rheinmetall of their joint development of a German missile defense system, similar to the HIMARS.
The UH-60M helicopter, the legendary Sikorsky/Lockheed Martin Black Hawk, is also expected to play a leading role in the Exhibition. It is one of the most popular military helicopters in the world, with over 5,000 units serving in 35 countries. The helicopter that will come to Athens is the “Mike” version, with the UH-60 type counting more than 15 million flight hours and over 4 million hours in combat environment.
The Black Hawk is, in fact, in the scope of the Greek Armed Forces to replace the aging UH-1 Huey of the Greek Army while participating in the selection process of the Air Force as a Search and Rescue helicopter. The Greek Navy already uses a variation of this helicopter, the S-70 Aegean Hawk, and in the coming months, even more modern MH-60 Romeo antisubmarine helicopters of the same helicopter family are expected to arrive in Greece. The General Directorate of Defense Equipment and Investments has already sent the relevant request (LoR for LoA) for the Greek Army’s helicopters and is waiting for Washington’s response.
Strong US presence
At DEFEA 2023, the US Army will present the M270 MLRS (Multiple Launch Rocket System) in its most modern version, the A2, which features a new fire control system allowing the use of precision ammunition, a 600 hp engine, upgraded transmission system, and improved cabin armor. According to reports, the US Army plans to upgrade its entire fleet of 225 M270A1 and 160 decommissioned M270A0 to the A2 version. Visitors to the exhibition will also have the opportunity to learn about the JLTV (Joint Light Tactical Vehicle) by Oshkosh, which is used by the Army, Marines, and Special Operations Command of the United States. In fact, it is one of the vehicles that can be equipped with the Israeli Spike NLOS system, which will soon be available to the Greek Armed Forces. Of particular interest is the largest vehicle of the American Oshkosh, the FMTV (Family of Medium Tactical Vehicles), which is also used by the US Army.
The US Army will also showcase the powerful M1134 TOW Carrier ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile Vehicle) from the Stryker family of vehicles, a modern Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) that is used as the primary anti-tank weapon and has remarkable capabilities against armored threats as it is equipped with TOW missiles. Those who attend DEFEA will also take a close look at the American version of the Textron M1117 Guardian, which was recently introduced into service with the Greek Armed Forces. Athens is set to receive a total of 1,200 vehicles of this type through the EDA program, with hundreds already delivered and the rest arriving in the coming months.
In the context of the upgraded defense cooperation between Athens and Washington, significant American companies will be present at Metropolitan Expo, such as Aviation Procurement Systems, BAE Systems, Boeing, D&M Ammunition Manufacturing Solution, Dillon Aero, Erickson Inc., General Atomis Aeronautical, Lockheed Martin, Onex, Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Technologies Corporation, State of Missouri International Trade & Investment, EWR Radar Systems, Masterclock, Textron Aviation Inc., Titanium Industries, Velos Rotors Inc., By-Linear/By-Light, Summit Aviation Inc., Alpha Systems, Air Industrial – G. Alexandris and Join Stock Co., Total View, Aeroservices, S3 Aerodefense, Northrop Grumman, and Cubit Digital Intelligence.