Israel Signs Deal to Lease Drones to Greece for Border Defense

TEL AVIV (Reuters) -
Israel Aerospace Industries’ Heron I. (IAI)

Israel said it will lease drones to Greece to defend its borders, with an option to buy the system, in the first military deal between the two countries.

The Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the agreement with the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense was signed digitally due to the coronavirus crisis.

Under the deal, Israel‘s Defense Ministry will lease the Heron unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system, made by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries, for three years.

The Heron system, which is used by Israel‘s military and in naval forces around the world, is equipped with both day and night activity platforms, maritime patrol radars and satellite communications.

It will be used by Greece primarily for border defense, the Israeli Defense Ministry said in a statement, adding that security relations between Israel and Greece were expanding.

“We hope to sign additional agreements with Greece as well as other European partners, assisting them in addressing security challenges – in times of the corona pandemic and beyond,” Yair Kulas, head of the International Defense Cooperation Directorate, said.