MINISTER Nik. Panagiotopoulos: “Our first concern is the upgrade of air defense”

“The Armed Forces are at the highest level of operational readiness and combat capability, in order to face any threat and to secure the national and sovereign rights of the country”, explained the Minister of National Defense Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, in response to a question submitted to Parliament by 26 SYRIZA MPs on the subject of “Immediate shielding of the country’s air defense to deal with possible risks from the flights of unmanned aircraft”.

At the same time, he announced the following: “First of all, dealing with unfriendly UAVs is carried out using the means of the Unified Air Defense System. In any case, the Armed Forces (AF) monitor all UAV flying activity and maintain increased readiness to react to potential danger.

Specifically, the EDs, within the framework of their powers, take all the necessary actions deriving from the National Plans – Orders, in order to monitor and police the national airspace, recognizing all aircraft, manned or unmanned, that enter the ATHINAI FIR , without filing a flight plan and permission from the competent Greek authorities that control air traffic. At the same time, all applicable national rules of engagement are faithfully applied, while all affected units are informed about the flight of the specific means, in order to take the necessary measures to conceal and secure classified information in a timely manner.

Furthermore, in the context of shielding the country from UAV-type aerial threats, a continuous effort is being made to modernize the available air defense means. In this regard, the expansion of the operational capabilities of the ED is carried out based on the recorded operational requirements and any solution that serves the said design is examined and evaluated thoroughly, taking into account the financial planning and the operational benefits.

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In the above context, all possible options are being considered to find the most suitable solution in terms of air defense capabilities and procedures, in order to deal with unfriendly UAVs”, concluded the minister.

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