Saturday, November 6, 2010

More Howitzers for Greece

In 2008 talks started between Greece and Germany for the transfer of 223 surplus German M109A3GE-A2 howitzers to Greece. The deal was signed on the 17th of February 2010 and now finally the first 70 of these will arrive in Thessaloniki port on the 10th of November. (Source)

The A2 version of these howitzers is more advanced than the existing A1 models in the Greek Army. Once deliveries of the 223 howitzers is completed all towed artillery in the Greek Army will be withdrawn, with the exception of 18 M56 Pack guns.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Papanikolis Submarine in Greek Hands

Yesterday, 2 November 2010, one of the largest operational issues of the Hellenic Navy started being solved when the S120 Papanikolis was officially handed over to the Navy during a minor ceremony that took place in Germany.

This event was triggered by the sale of the Hellenic Shipyards to Privinvest, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi Mar. The events that led to this sale could have serious consequences for Greek shipbuilding as the negotiations were conducted with the Greek side being under serious pressure as a result of the German threat to shut down the shipyard. The years of inaction by the Greek side eventually led to this point, risking the jobs of hundreds of people and risking the loss of a strategic sector of industry.

The submarine will sail to Greece over the next few weeks. This now paves the way for the remaining 4 submarines to gradually enter service.

One problem that has not been dealt with is the purchase of modern torpedoes. For the time being this submarine, along with the others in its class, will be the most modern conventional submarines on the planet but relying on old weaponry which will come from older submarines.