Our islands are becoming impregnable – their defense is being strengthened with the armored M1117

Not only are they not being demilitarized, but their defenses are being strengthened with M113 TOMBs and M1117 armored vehicles

of KOSTAS MELISSOPOULOS – SOURCE: BtK – [Μετατροπή σε κείμενο: ]

“There is no question of demilitarizing the islands. Our islanders should feel safer than ever, because we are strengthening defenses compared to before, not weakening them.” This was emphasized to “BtK” by a senior member of the General Staff of the Army, who made it clear that the first priority for the Staff is the further armoring of the islands, and categorically rejected the claims of a weakening of the defense capacity of the islands of the Eastern Aegean because the BMPs of Russian origin were granted armored personnel carriers.

According to information from top sources, the BMPs allocated to the Ukrainians were immediately replaced by M113 anti-tank missiles, but mainly by armored M1117s. The M113s may not compete with today’s modern crawlers with their heavy 50-round machine gun, as well as their overall design, but for island defense and above all for their intended purpose, they are useful and on par with BMPs. On the other hand, the M113s may be of older technology and design, but the M1117s are quite a step above what has been on the islands so far. Both operationally and in terms of effective armament and technology. The M113s were transferred from domestic units where their operational utility was very limited, while the M1117s were provided by the United States well in advance of the deployment of BMPs to Ukraine. This is – in total – 1,200 armored wheeled reconnaissance vehicles, while this particular model has been tested in wars for the last 20 years with great success, and is an important aid to the defense armor of our country.

The specific M1117 armored vehicles received by the GES and transported to the islands, have not taken part – as Pentagon officials clarify – in any war front, e.g. in Iraq or Afghanistan. According to A/GES interlocutors, only some of them participated in peacekeeping missions in Bosnia-Herzegovina or Kosovo, mainly surveillance missions. Their engines make very little noise, and despite the fact that they were stationary they worked immediately, since, in almost everything, their battery was in very good condition. It should be noted that of these, only one or two will be used as spare parts. Our country has so far received over 600 M1117s, and the supply of about another 600 is imminent in a few months.

See also  Fleet Commander's visit to ATA

Pentagon experts unequivocally emphasize that M1117 wheeled armored personnel carriers are much stronger than BMPs, and much more effective. “Pentagon” officials also emphasize that the placement of the German Marders received from Germany, in Thrace, was made following the recommendation of the Staff, which made its decision based on purely operational criteria, as well as the environmental conditions in which they are called to attempt. It should be noted that German Marders are oversized and require space to operate, which the island environment does not have. On the contrary, as they explain, the M1117 is the most ideal choice that ensures greater security in the defensive armor and serves the defense planning of the Staff. Where the vehicles that replaced the BMPs were placed concerns the operational planning of the GES, as clarified by the Pentagon.

Therefore, according to the top leadership of GES and GEETHA, the defense on the islands is complete and there is no gap in security, while associates of both Chiefs pointed out to “BtK” that “the BMPs were crawlers, which made it difficult their maximum utilization in the insular area, while the M1117s are wheeled and much more flexible in real combat conditions”. As “Pentagon” officials point out, referring to the M1117s, these are vehicles that the US granted, from its strategic reserves, to our country, with the Greek side only assuming the cost of their transport, equipment and maintenance.

“Gift” of $970 million

The Chief of the GES, Lieutenant General Charalambos Lalousis, had visited the USA, and in the contacts he had with the American military administration there, he discussed, among other things, the granting of M1I17s, as well as the matter concerning the securing of the necessary support materials and armament of the specific armored vehicles vehicles. The total value of the 1,200 vehicles (which, as mentioned above, are granted by the US, not purchased), amounts to 970 million dollars, while the total cost for their maintenance, equipment, transportation, etc., is estimated to vary around 90-100 million dollars. The inclusion of the specific vehicles in service in the E.S. considered to be a particularly significant development, as they are expected to be used in roles covered by vehicles such as the old M113 armored personnel carriers, the Leonidas, the Russian-origin BMP-1 (for which the initiative was taken to withdraw), the VBL or even unarmored vehicles.

See also  Escalation: US sends MLRS rocket launchers to Ukraine despite Russian warnings

As for the M1117 Guardian (ASV-Armored Security Vehicle), it is a wheeled vehicle 6 meters long, 2.6 meters wide and 2.6 meters high, with particularly advanced armor for its dimensions. It was originally developed for the US Army with mine resistance in mind in particular. The type was used in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan (where the threat of improvised explosive devices was particularly high). It can carry 5-6 people (crew and soldiers on board) and its equipment can include grenade launchers and machine guns of various calibers.

More generally, they will be the most advanced armored wheeled vehicles in the ranks of the ES, and certainly superior to the M113 and BMP-1, contributing significantly to the strengthening of the capabilities of the motorized units, as well as the Reconnaissance Divisions. The M1117s are granted to our country through the US Excess Defense Articles (EDA) program, and are used in reconnaissance and area surveillance missions, significantly increasing the operational capabilities of the Army, due to their flexibility and enhanced armor.

Related Posts