The Greek Defense Ministry has reportedly agreed to buy three US-made unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to boost its defense capabilities and improve reconnaissance over the Aegean Sea.
According to a report on ANT television station on Wednesday (24 April), the deal, estimated to be approximately 50 million euro, involves the purchase of three General Atomics MQ-9 Reaper UAVs “Predator B” and the construction of two ground control stations.
The MQ-9 is the first hunter-killer UAV designed for long-endurance, high-altitude surveillance. The MQ-9 is a larger, heavier, and more capable aircraft than the earlier General Atomics MQ-1 Predator; it can be controlled by the same ground systems used to control MQ-1s.
The Reaper has a 950-shaft-horsepower (712 kW) turboprop engine (compared to the Predator’s 115 hp -86 kW- piston engine). The greater power allows the Reaper to carry 15 times more ordnance payload and cruise at about three times the speed of the MQ-1. The aircraft is monitored and controlled by aircrew in the Ground Control Station (GCS), including weapons employment.