For its ground forces, the Greek Army has started to take delivery
of the first Leopard
2 HEL tanks. In addition to the 170 tanks on order, Greece
will also receive six Legun bridge-layers, 12 armored recovery
vehicles, supported by a comprehensive training and logistical
of additional 26 armored recovery vehicles was also planned.
The Leopard 2 HEL program contributed significantly to improve
the local industry, transferring technology to some 20 industries.
KMW established its Hellenic Defense Vehicle Systems (HDVS)
subsidiary in Volos, for the production of armor protection,
suspension systems and other components. Also in Volos, METRA
is responsible for welding and machining of steel parts. ELBO
SA in Thessaloniki is responsible for the integration and assembly
of the tanks. Intracom is responsible for the electronics and
Follow-on to the Leopard program,
Greece is expected to decide on the procurement of 291 tracked
armoured fighting vehicles. (Greece plans to buy Marder A3 AIFVs
to be withdrawn from German Army service). The vehicles will
be refurbished them with a new turret, gun and optronics. Greece
is also planning to buy about 400 wheeled armoured vehicles
- either 8x8 or 6x6 will be selected. The current program allocated
430 million Euros for 84 vehicles. Defendory was held at a perfect
timing to shape the opinions and attitudes of top level decision
makers about their forthcoming decisions about wheeled AFV programs.
of armoured vehicles brought the actual hardware to Athens,
including the 8x8 version of the Pandur II, displayed by Styre,
the AMV brought here by Patria and Centauro, displayed by Iveco.
This program is considered to be among the largest pending procurements
of 8x8 armored vehicles. Patria is well positioned to win in
this market, producing AMVs to fulfil about 800 orders from
Finland and Poland. By year's end (2006) the company expects
to complete production of the 200th AMV. The vehicle utilizes
a uses an 8x8 chassis to support modular configurations, utilizing
various levels of protection, armaments, and systems. Among
these are the turreted vehicle, armed with an automatic 30mm
canon, proposed for the Greek program, vehicle equipped with
remotely controlled gun, self propelled dual-barrel or single
barrel 120mm mortar,
and other versions.
Greece is planning to withdraw 300 BMP-1 from active service
by 2007. (100 units have already been transferred to Iraq).
Once these vehicles are to be transferred to another user, there
may be an opportunity for their upgrade. Russia is also realizing
another opportunity for the amphibious capable BMP-3F
marine combat vehicle which is offered for the special operations
units of the Hellenic Ground Forces. It uses a modified propulsion
system to steer the vehicle afloat, climb ashore without difficulty
in up to sea state 3, employ its main armament (gun and missiles)
at sea state 2 and endure and travel in water for seven hours.
Other procurement plans call for the acquisition of 50 amphibious
assault vehicles and 209 light reconnaissance vehicles. Addressing
this opportunity were KMW, with the Fenek,
and Panhard, with the
VBL, which is already in use with the Hellenic ground forces.
recent months Fenek has been deployed to Afghanistan where it
was demonstrated as effective and capable of performing tough
missions in extremely difficult terrain. VBL was displayed here
in two configurations - an anti-tank missile carrier, fitted
with the Russian Quadrat missile launcher, firing the KBP Kornet
E anti-tank missile and the light patrol vehicle, equipped
with RAFAEL's mini Samson remotely controlled weapon station
and acoustic gunshot