(Athens) – The Hellenic Navy recently announced plans to officially launch the upgrade program for the Hellenic Navy to upgrade their P-3B Orion aircrafts. The intentions were announced in a ceremony that took place on July 25, 2016 and involved the Hellenic Navy, Lockheed Martin, and the Hellenic Aerospace Industry, or HAI. Official leaders from the Greek government attended the meeting including representatives from the Hellenic Defense Ministry, the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, the U.S. Embassy in Greece, the Hellenic Air Force, the General Directorate for Defense Investment and Armaments, Lockheed Martin, and members of the local government also attended the ceremony.
Lockheed Martin was awarded the contract to modernize the P-3B aircraft for the Greek government. Dimitris Vitsas, the Alternate Minister of National Defense for Greece said, ““During the current difficult and critical times for Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean, the reconstitution of the operational capabilities of this program is a defense priority for the Ministry and the Hellenic Armed Forces. In addition, the government-to-government agreement between Greece and the United States guarantees absolute transparency, fair and reasonable program cost, the participation of the Hellenic Defense Industry and provides unique operational capabilities for the Hellenic Armed Forces.”
Admiral Evangelos Apostolakis, chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff also said that, “The selection of P-3B and its upgrade is the most advantageous solution for the country. With the criterion of fulfilling the operational requirements of the Hellenic Navy, the P-3 with the MLU program through the government agreement of Greece and the USA offers the optimal combination of cost-effectiveness.”
Work for the upgrades will be performed at Hellenic Aerospace Industries facilities in Greece as well as Georgia, South Carolina, and Maryland in the United States. Making sure that the Hellenic Navy has updated equipment is a priority, especially since the waters surrounding Greece have received increased activity due to the current refugee crisis.