Hellenic Army: The directions and actions of the re-armament program
Although the interest concerning re-armament is concentrated on the programs of the Air Force and the Navy with a focus on the acquisition of the 18 Rafale F3R fighters as well as the four frigates, nevertheless the Hellenic Army is making efforts to launch its own armament procurement programs.
One of the most important programs for the Hellenic Army is the renewal of personal weapons as well as individual materiel. The goal is to replace the G3A3 / A4 rifle with a new and more modern model. At the same time, there will be enrichment in the arsenal of the Special Forces with new weapons as well as new sniper rifles covering a long-standing need. At the same time, with the new rifle of 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm caliber, the General Staff of the Army is planning to acquire a new 9 mm pistol.
The will of the political leadership is to have a plan where both the new rifle and the new pistol will be co-produced by the Hellenic Defense Systems (EAS) in order to stimulate the production of its factories. The German HK433 of Heckler & Koch is of great interest, while there are also significant proposals at the national level.
One of the most important programs for the Hellenic Army is the renewal of personal weapons as well as individual materiel.
A program is already underway to improve the combat gear of the Army’s Special Forces units by acquiring Elmon Molle plate carriers with a view to acquiring a total of tactical level drones for reconnaissance and intelligence gathering missions intended for the Expeditionary Units.
Continuing, with the equipment of the Special Forces, we proceed to the program of new high-speed personnel transports for the Amphibious Units of the 13th Special Operations Command. The selected boat is of the company VIKING Norsafe and in particular the speedboat type Munin S1200. A total of 41 speedboats will be built to replace the obsolete Magna 960.
One of the most immediate and urgent needs of the Hellenic Army is the renewal of rolling stock. The General Staff wants a comprehensive program to replace general purpose trucks (approximately 10000 Steyr 680M trucks serve in the Army), other vehicles (M / S 290GD and M / S 240GD) as well as specialized vehicles. This is a top priority program as the above vehicles are the backbone of the Army logistics capabilities. The ideal would be the development of a family of national vehicles that would meet the above needs with the money staying in Greece with increased domestic added value and a focus on the Greek defense industry.
The modernization of the AH-64A is crucial and as Army Air Force officials note, and 2021 will be a milestone.
The Armor Branch is expected to launch a program to upgrade Leopard 1 A5 and Leopard 2 A4 tanks. The most burning issue for the Army Air Force is the signing of the sixth amendment to the original supply contract for a total of 20 NH90 helicopters. To date, 14 state-of-the-art helicopters have been received due to very low availability because the technical support contract had not been signed. The signing of the sixth amendment to the original contract is expected to regulate the deliveries of the remaining six NH90 helicopters as well as the technical support of all the helicopters.
The modernization of the AH-64A is crucial and as Army Air Force officials note, 2021 will be a milestone year. In the mid term, the Army Aviation Directorate wishes to proceed with the program for the homogenization of the Greek Chinooks at the F model standard.
The Combat Artillery is awaiting the modernization of the RM-70 as well as the MLRS M-270 Multiple Rocket Launchers. In addition, the General Staff intends to acquire new ammunition for the above weapons systems.
The Infantry, in addition to the new small arms and new materiel, is in talks with Israel about acquiring Rafael’s Spike lethal anti-tank weapons, a weapons system necessary for the Greek arsenal. The issue of a new AIFV/APC always remains relevant but requires large funds. The same applies to the weapon systems of the Anti-Aircraft Artillery. On the table remains the modernization of the existing AIFV stock as well as the domestic development of an AIFV/APC given the hundreds of such vehicles that need to be replaced in the long run.