Greece Deploys PATRIOT Missile Battery to Saudi Arabia

(NAMFI) NATO Missile Firing Installation concludes in Greece

Greece has established the Hellenic Force of Saudi Arabia equipping it with a PATRIOT long-range anti-aircraft system to strengthen the air defense and missile protection of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The deployment includes two PATRIOT systems, technicians and personnel from the Greek Air Force.

This is part of the framework of the implementation of the international initiative "Integrated Air and Missile Defence Concept" (IAMD Concept), a Hellenic MoD release said today.

A Departure ceremony of the Hellenic Force of Saudi Arabia took place at the Tanagra Air Base, in the presence of the Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos.

In his address, the Chief of the Hellenic National Defense Force (HNDGS), General Konstantinos Floros stressed on the benefits for the Greek Air Force from its participation in a new operational environment through the enhancement of interoperability, cooperation and exchange of know-how with the personnel of the Armed Forces of Saudi Arabia.

He pointed out that the mission of the (PATRIOT) artillery in Saudi Arabia will contribute to the promotion of security and stability in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Middle East.

Saudi Arabia and Greek militaries are coming closer thanks to recent co-trainings in the framework of the exercises "Falcon Eye I” and "Falcon Eye II." Besides the exchange of visits of the Chiefs of the Armed Forces, the recent first-time placement of a Saudi Defence Attaché in Athens as well as the repositioning of a Greek Defence Attaché in Riyadh, which mark the upgrading of military relations between the two countries.

The PATRIOT deployment to Saudi Arabia has to be seen in the context of increasing missile attacks by Yemeni Houthi forces against Saudi Arabian targets.