Can Greece build the missile systems it needs?


In a previous article, we talked about how turning Greece’s islands into submersibles could prevent war, making costs prohibitive for Turkey. 

The crucial question, which we will answer in this article, is whether Greece can be transformed from a buyer country into a country capable of producing the missile systems it needs.

Can Greece, on the one hand, acquire the technology and, on the other hand, raise the cost of studies, industrial infrastructure and the cost per unit of production?

Obviously, a country that has invested in the development of such technologies for decades, such as Turkey, is already depreciating the cost of infrastructure, while the cost per unit decreases as the production volume increases.

The cost per unit includes the costs of raw materials, methods of construction of parts, way of direction to the target and desired range. Shorter range means smaller in size missile system, so less materials, less fuel, and so on.

A guided missile, whatever its mission, consists of three parts. It usually has the navigation system at the front. The battle load follows and ends up in the propulsion system.

Of these parts the cheapest is the battle cone. In ground-to-ground systems the “useful” explosive load must not be less than 500kg.

The construction is completely within Greece’s possibilities.

The higher the accuracy, the lower the explosive charge.

Guidance systems can be simple, ie inertial navigation, with the help of satellite systems (GPS).

They can be complex with built-in sensors, such as cameras, and even have the ability to be directed over long distances.

The more complex the more expensive, but also more expensive.

The targets offered for attack by missiles guided by the relatively simple INS/GPS system are mainly static.

Their coordinates are loaded into the computer of the built-in INS/GPS.

The propulsion system differs in certain parameters: First, in terms of the type of fuel, liquid or solid. Second, with the system (missile, barrel, or even mixed and perhaps a more complex one by combining any element with a supercar).

How much do missile systems cost?

Take, for example, the high-capacity missile system, the American Tomahawk cruise missile.

An average cost per unit (depending on the model) ranges from $850,000 to $1,500,000. It has an explosive load of 450 kg.

A NATO study in 2000 showed that the cost of similar systems then designed could fall to $40,000 after ten years.

This was not done for reasons that have little to do with the real needs of the Pentagon and the existence of infrastructure. Instead, Tomahawk’s capabilities have been upgraded, increasing instead of reducing costs.

The Pentagon report on China – World map
The Pentagon.

Less complex systems that are less flexible in dealing with time-critical goals cost up to half as much, as they do not need to have systems to recalculate the course of a goal and correct their course.

A 2010 study triggered by the end of the INS agreement showed that at a cost of developing about 750,000,000 US could design higher-performance missile systems with a range of more than 700 km, similar to Tomahawk and costing less than 800,000.

Tomahawk (missile) - Wikipedia greece
Tomahawk missile.

US competitors have reduced labor costs, but the total cost is little affected by labor costs, as engineers are necessarily of a high standard.

The main cost is the high quality of materials (especially synthetics, titanium alloys, copper castings with internal piping, etc.).

The United States is not content with simple explosive charges, but is building missiles that carry other weapons, or designed to pierce fortified targets.

All this increases the development cost per unit.

If you just want your rocket to hit a fixed target, the cost is greatly reduced.

The cost of electronics and electronic gyroscopes for the INS has reached a ridiculous cost (a few thousand euros), but designing the synergy of parts from commercial stocks requires some time, not prohibitive.

We are talking about an area that Turkey entered two decades ago and more dynamically in recent years, even using its various military interventions as testing grounds.

How much does rocket production cost?

If Greece wants to become a producer of missile systems, it must completely reform the relations between the state, the armed forces and industry, understanding that the cooperation must have a stable framework and a duration of decades.

It happens; Conditionally yes. First, a generous investment is required to build infrastructure away from major urban centers.

Apart from buildings, all those instruments with which scientists will carry out their experiments and simulations are required.

Their cost will be around two billion euros. The first five years the production will absorb additional funds from 500 to 1000 million per year.

This cost includes the salaries of scientific staff and specialized engineers.

In the first five years, a short-range prototype may be developed or production may begin with the permission of advanced unguided systems for the acquisition and/or recovery of technology on the production line for use by existing Armed Forces systems.

In general, the synergy with foreign companies that are willing for a price to provide obsolete technology for them is valuable, which, however, Greece needs.

The development of the war industry is “marriage”

In fact, it is not a very difficult task, especially if the usual problems (labor, legal disputes, contest disputes, everything that has plagued the war industry for 50 years now) are bypassed.

Mass production of rockets can drop the price per unit below 400,000 euros.

The entire investment will be burdened by one billion for the supply of special equipment, such as fire control units.

Scientific staff exist, or may return if they see perspective. Rocket production is a “marriage”, it is a choice that you “marry.”

This road has no setback. It is for Greece an investment that will have an impact not only on the level of defense, but also on the technology as a whole for use in many industrial directions.

In total, this is an investment that exceeds just over six billion euros.

The most important thing, however, is that it requires dedication to the goal, not political interventions and perfectly coordinated work.

We did not consider complex state-of-the-art technology schemes, such as supersonic bodies, as these are currently beyond Greece’s capabilities.

We reserve the right to have an exclusive interview with an American industrialist who manufactures rockets for the Pentagon and NASA.