The joint statement, made on the first day of the Defence Exhibition in Athens (DEFEA 2023), comes at a time when the Greek industry is re-developing and enhancing its indigenous defence and aerospace capabilities.
The loitering munition system called ‘IRIX’ (The name Greek poet Homer used to describe hawks) is poised to make history as the first loitering munitions produced in Greece, while also establishing itself as one of the most advanced and long range loitering munitions produced in Europe.
The agreement provides for the manufacturing of internationally competitive long-range loitering munitions in Greece, that will serve both the Greek market and be available for export to international customers.
Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS), the leading Greek state-owned company, serves as a strategic partner of some of the largest companies in the international defence industry, with a storied 140 years-strong tradition of designing, developing, manufacturing and supplying the Greek Armed Forces with NATO-type defence systems. The Hellenic Ministry of Finance is the main shareholder and the company is supervised by the Ministry of National Defence.
Nikolaos Kostopoulos, CEO of Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS) stated, “We are very excited to be going into production, in Greece, with one of the world’s most advanced long-range loitering munitions. In Paramount we have found an ideal strategic partner, recognised as one of the pioneers in the loitering munitions industry.
“EAS and Paramount have jointly developed an innovative and advanced product, specifically designed for the Greek market, called IRIX. This is a light house project for the redevelopment and enhancement of the Greek defence industry, which we are immensely proud of.”
IRIX is based on Paramount's highly-advanced N-Raven unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology. The N-Raven has been digitally designed with quick transfer of technology in mind, to enable governments to manufacture the loitering munitions technologies in their countries.
The partnership will include the transfer of technology and skills for the local co-production of IRIX and also EAS’ ongoing participation in the continued research and development (R&D) of future upgrades for the IRIX system.
Steve Griessel, Paramount Global CEO stated: “We are privileged to be one of EAS’ global partners of choice, leveraging our decades of unmanned aerial innovation and portable production expertise to jointly develop and produce the IRIX in Greece. At Paramount we believe that true partnerships and innovation mean that we design and produce technologically advanced, affordable and highly customisable solutions together with our partners.”
The companies further announced that the involvement of other Greek companies in the supply chain for the production of the system will be encouraged, in order to achieve greater participation of, and autonomy for the Greek Defence Industry.
IRIX is a robust yet cost-effective unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and loitering munition system, designed to strengthen armed forces' aerial reconnaissance, engagement, and precision strike proficiencies, addressing modern-day requirements for both asymmetrical and symmetrical warfare operational capability. The platform offers operational commanders with real-time actionable intelligence and from it, the ability to strike high-value targets deep within enemy territory or to deny the enemy use of operationally essential terrain.
George Kyriakos, CEO of Paramount Industries Greece stated: "The role of loitering munitions on the modern battlefield has steadily increased, as seen in recent conflicts taking place all around the world. These socioeconomic ramifications have made ensuring security of supply of any nation’s defence technologies and capabilities, a prerequisite to stability and growth.
“The partnership between Paramount Industries Greece and Hellenic Defence Systems will provide a powerful solution for the growing need for advanced and precise loitering munitions, enhancing Greece's defence capabilities as well as NATO and European defence capabilities. Importantly, also boosting our local industry and creating high tech opportunities and skilled jobs in the local market.” he concluded.