Israel signs deal to lease drones to Greece for border defence

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Israel will be leasing drones to Greece for the protection of its borders under a three-year agreement signed on Wednesday by the defence ministries of both countries.

The agreement is the first military deal between Israel and Greece. Due to coronavirus-related restrictions, it was signed electronically.

“Under the agreement, the Israeli Ministry of Defense will provide Greece with a Heron unmanned aerial vehicle system… for three years, with the possibility of purchasing the system after the completion of the leasing period,” the Israeli Defence Ministry said in a press release.

The Heron system, which is used by Israel’s military and in naval forces around the world, is equipped with both day and night activity platforms, maritime patrol radars and satellite communications.

It will be used by Greece primarily for border defence, the Israeli ministry said, adding that security relations between Israel and Greece were expanding.

“We hope to sign additional agreements with Greece as well as other European partners, assisting them in addressing security challenges – in times of the corona pandemic and beyond,” the statement read.

Heron surveillance drones are already widely in use by the military in many countries and have a cumulative flight record of approximately 1.8 million hours. They are considered to be among the world’s most advanced devices.

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