Middle Eastern Nation Israel and Greece (the Hellenic Republic) have signed their biggest ever defence procurement deal. The agreement amounted to $1.65 billion. It will strengthen economic and political ties between the countries. Also, both countries launched a joint exercise.

Agreement

  • Under the Defence Deal, a training centre for the operation of Hellenic Air Force is to be established by the Israeli Defence Contractor Elbit Systems for a period of 22 years.
  • The training centre is to be modelled on the flight academy of Israel.
  • The training centre is to be equipped with ten M-346 training aircrafts. These aircrafts were produced by Italy’s Leonardo.
  • Under the Defence Deal, Elbit of Israel (International Defense Electronics Company) will supply kits to operate and upgrade T-6 aircrafts of Greece.

Backdrop

The Defence Deal was signed after a meeting held in Cyprus between Greek, United Arab Emirates, Cypriot and Israel. Israel and Greece have practiced against the Russian S-300 missile system during their exercises in the past. The S-300 missile system has been deployed in Iran and Syria. However, the recent joint exercises did not use S-300 missiles. Israel considers Iran and Syria as its foe.

Recent Developments

Greece, the Republic of Cyprus and Israel have taken several steps recently to cement their ties. This includes building a 2,000 Mega Watt undersea electricity cable and 1,900 kilometer undersea gas pipeline.

Recently, tri countries Israel, Cyprus and Greece conducted a joint naval exercise.

Issues with Turkey

Recently Turkey sent gas prospecting vessels into the waters claimed by Greece. Also, Turkey sent drilling ships into an area where Cyprus claims exclusive rights.

Israel and Greece Trade

Both countries bilateral trade stood under $1 Billion. In 2019 Greece exports to Israel stood at $496 Million. Under this Greece exports main item are Mineral fuels, oils, distillation products to Israel.

In 2019,  Israeli exports to Greece stood at $333 Million. Under this Israel exports Refined Petroleum, Centrifuges, and Scrap Iron.

Israel and Greece sign Defence Deal Israel and Greece sign Defence Deal