The Israel Aeronautics company, in conjunction with Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Stolero Aeron, reached an agreement to supply Orbiter 3 drones to Greece.
The contract with Greece
The contract, part of a 370 million-euro ($404 million) sale package for Rafael’s Spike missiles, will see the delivery of “dozens” of drones to the Greek Defense Ministry.
The Orbiter 3 is an unmanned aerial system with a maximum takeoff weight of 32 kilograms (71 pounds) and a flight range of up to six hours, ideal for intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions.
The announcement of the deal was made ahead of Yom HaShaoh, the annual Holocaust Remembrance Day, and the Israeli Defense Ministry released no further details.
Capabilities of the Orbiter 3 and Spike missiles
Rafael will offer an advanced solution that will provide a significant operational advantage on the modern battlefield; while Orbiter 3 systems detect, recognize and identify the target, Spike missiles can quickly close the sensor-shooter loop using the Fire Weaver system, C4I.
In the last year, Rafael has introduced the NLOS Mission Taskforce (NMT) system as a complete operational solution that provides organic detection, attack, and fire control capabilities to small mobile combat units.
The company did not provide details on the Orbiter 3’s integration with this system beyond the ability to detect targets so that Spike missiles can be launched in response.
The Orbiter 3 UAV does not require a runway to take off and can carry various types of payloads. In addition, it can navigate environments without GPS and in adverse weather conditions.
Aeronautics had already supplied the Orbiter 3 to an unnamed Asian country in 2019 and won a contract with another unnamed customer in South America.
The company was founded in 1997 and acquired by Rafael and Stolero Aeron in 2019, with a fifty percent stake held by the state-owned company Rafael.
Cooperation between Greece and Israel
Greece and Israel have strengthened their defense collaboration in recent years, holding numerous joint drills and signing defense agreements.
In 2020, Greece announced a lease agreement for Heron drones with Israel’s IAI and the contracting of Israel’s Elbit Systems to build a flight training facility in the country.
The agreement between Aeronautics and Greece represents a breakthrough in defense collaboration between the two countries and an example of how modern weapons systems and drone technology can be integrated on the battlefield to provide a significant operational advantage.