MBDANaval Group, and Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) play a role in Greece’s defence by bolstering its Naval defence industry.

IAI recently acquired the Greek defence company Intracom Defense, specialising in missile launchers, missile subsystems, land and sea tactical communications, and hybrid generation. 

A growing naval power

IDE, the Greek entity, will be integrated into IAI’s business activities in Greece and Europe, providing solutions to the challenges the continent’s countries face. Naval Group is a major partner in DEFEA, the Athens Defense Exhibition in Greece, showcasing its surface ships’ offer and technologies, the FDI frigates, and the Gowind corvettes

On 21st October 2022, the Naval Group achieved a milestone in the FDI HN program for the Hellenic Navy. The first block of the first FDI HN frigate for the Hellenic Navy was laid in a dry dock at Naval Group’s shipyard in Lorient by Vice Admiral Stylianos Petrakis, Chief of Hellenic Navy General Staff.

Naval Group also officially submitted Gowind class corvettes to Greece in December last year, with the French team submitting an offer for the corvettes program of the Hellenic Navy.

Developing the Naval Group’s Hellenic Industrial Participation Plan (HIP) is an asset for Greece, transferring its know-how to the Greek defence industry. MBDA is strengthening its co-operation with the Greek defence industry to develop missile defence systems for naval applications. 

According to GlobalData’s “Greece Defence Market 2023-2028” report, the largest defence contracts over the next five years came from companies from the US and France, with Lockheed Martin, Textron, Naval Group and Dassault Aviation showing how companies from the US and France dominate sales to the country.

James Marques, an aerospace, defence, and security analyst at GlobalData, pointed out Greece’s naval industry: “Despite being a big shipping industry country, Greece doesn’t build any of their naval vessels. They buy abroad, mostly from Germany, France, Britain and Italy. A large shipyard company mostly builds foreign designs, though.”

IAI’s acquisition of Intracom Defense will allow the Israeli company to benefit from the possibility of local production and maintenance in Europe, with an extensive product portfolio, including advanced air defence systems.

The acquisition will also positively impact the local industry by integrating Greek companies into IAI’s supply chain for future export programs. 

Going with what you know

Meanwhile, the French-based Naval Group have had a long-term presence in Greece, identifying and building relationships with high-skilled and innovative companies in the Hellenic defence industry and with research and academic partners. 

Naval Group’s Hellenic Industrial Participation Plan (HIP), defined as part of the FDI frigates for the Hellenic Navy program, has already had numerous and lasting economic repercussions on local industry, integrating Greek companies into Naval Group’s supply chain for future French and export programs.

The plan has more than 50 contracts signed involving 60 Hellenic partners since March 2022. The offer for the Corvette program also includes a robust industrial cooperation plan, furthering the involvement of Hellenic partners in the Group’s international operations. 

MBDA, a missile defence company, is also working on strengthening its cooperation with the Greek defence industry to develop missile defence systems for naval applications. 

Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, said: “Our ambition in Greece is to continue to develop fruitful partnerships and increase local participation. This is why, in addition to manufacturing activities, and as part of the “R&D Booster” initiative, MBDA is looking forward to expanding its long-term cooperation with Greek industrial partners to develop further new products that can be jointly introduced worldwide.”

Ambiguous borders and territorial tensions

With the increasing threats in the Mediterranean region, Greece is looking to boost its naval defence industry, and with the cooperation of these companies, Greece can gain the knowledge, technology, and expertise needed to defend its waters effectively.

James Marques continued, “Greece has to contend with being close to tensions in the black sea, managing being a crossing point for refugees and migrants from MENA to Europe, and has bad relations with Turkey. Despite being in NATO together. They have territorial disputes over various islands.”

The acquisition of Intracom Defense by IAI, the development of the Hellenic Industrial Participation plan by the Naval Group, and the cooperation of MBDA with the Greek defence industry will bring the necessary expertise to protect Greece’s waters from potential threats.