Athens seeks to counter Turkish UAVs

Athens seeks to counter Turkish UAVs

Citing the threat posed to its security by Turkish unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), Greece is reportedly seeking operational as well as diplomatic solutions to counter their intrusions in the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. 

On the diplomatic front, Athens is looking for ways to prevent Ankara from exploiting UAVs as leverage to seal and ratify agreements with various actors in the region. 

The most recent example of this was Ankara’s agreement with Kyiv for the construction of engines for Turkish UAVs by the Ukrainian company Motor Sich.

Amid these developments, a meeting was held on December 20 at the Greek Foreign Ministry with the participation of the military, to discuss the ways Greece can stress to those conducting such transactions with Ankara, but also the international community, that Turkey uses UAVs to increase its influence in countries that have serious security problems.

Ankara’s fleet of active UAVs of various types includes the Bayraktar TB2, the Anka-S and the Bayraktar Akinci, which under certain conditions can carry up to 1.3 tons of missiles and bombs. 

Their total number reaches about 200 and they are used by various branches of the Turkish armed forces, as well as the gendarmerie and the special forces of the police. 

In recent years, officers of the Hellenic Air Force and Navy have recorded and mapped the moves mainly of Bayraktar TB2 and Anka-S. 

Indicatively, during the migrant crisis at the Evros border in February 2020 and the prolonged deployment of the Greek and Turkish fleets in the Eastern Mediterranean in August-November of the same year, the Turkish armed forces made extensive use of UAVs to gather information.

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