Greece Greece to Build New Advanced Drone Called ‘the Griffin’

Pantelis

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The second made in Greece drone named "Grypas" is coming


Today (12/1) at the Ministry of Finance, in the presence of the Minister of Finance Mr. Christos Staikouras and the Minister of National Defense Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, the memorandum of cooperation was signed between the management of the Hellenic Aviation Industry (EAB) and the rector's authorities of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki , of the University of Patras, the Democritus University of Thrace and the University of Thessaly for the design and industrial production of a second, more complex unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) for a variety of uses.

According to the Ministry of Finance, the implementation of the new program, which bears the name "Grypas" - after the mythological being, which was a symbol of power - begins next Monday, January 16, taking advantage of the consistent course of work and the know-how acquired by the "Archytas" program for the research, development and industrial production of the first Autonomous Multi-Purpose Aerial Vehicle by entities of the wider public sector.

The Ministry of Finance, as the main shareholder of EAB, supports and finances this program in various ways, as it did for the "Archytas" program, aiming at the further development of domestic know-how in innovative fields, in order to strengthen the competitiveness of the company and the country as a whole . The "Grypas" program is expected to bring multiple benefits for the involved bodies and, more broadly, for the scientific community, the Greek economy and, overall, our country.

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The Minister of Finance, Mr. Christos Staikouras , in his presentation on the signing of the memorandum of cooperation, pointed out the following:

"For more than 2 years now, the Ministry of Finance has set a goal for the wider public sector to become a designer and producer of multi-purpose drone systems.

In order to achieve the goal, we started an effort to establish cooperation between the Ministry of Finance, the supervised Hellenic Aviation Industry (EAB), the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Democritus University of Thrace and the University of Thessaly
. "Archytas" program".

Its goal is the design and industrial production of multi-use and multi-type unmanned aerial vehicle (drone - UAV) systems.


The implementation of the "Archytas" program began on September 1, 2021.

To date, this collective, national effort is progressing as planned.

After the successful test flights of the scale aircraft, both in the conventional way and in the vertical take-off-landing mode, its final design is being completed.

At the same time, the supply of necessary materials and devices continues at the EAB, the configuration of a special space for the industrial production line is progressing, and the construction of the molds begins.
In the quarter that started, the construction of the prototype vehicle will proceed.

After the completion of its construction, there will be test flights, checks, certifications, costing of alternative types of vehicles and taking over by EAB orders for the manufacture of aircraft from users.

The smooth progress of the work of the "Archytas" program and the development of a constructive cooperation with the Universities gave us the basis, in order to:

1st. To call on Greek entrepreneurship, which produces or wishes to produce the necessary materials and devices for aircraft, with international competitiveness in terms of quality and prices, to coordinate its action with the EAB.

2nd Let's take the next ambitious step.
We set as our goal the design and industrial production of a second, much more complex unmanned aerial vehicle, named "Grypas".

We also strengthened our partners with the University of Patras.

We discussed this specific issue at length with the Minister of National Defense.

Our will and estimates coincided.

The harmonious cooperation with highly qualified officers of the Armed Forces of the country allows us to be more optimistic about the outcome of the new, important and demanding undertaking.
In this direction, I call on all those involved to work with honesty, consistency, reliability, productivity, efficiency and with absolute respect for the last euro of the Greek taxpayers.

In this national effort, I call upon all concerned to work to the best of their ability.

To prove that Greece has the strength and potential for significant achievements, which will strengthen, from all sides, the power of our Motherland.

To realize that they participate in writing a good page of Greek history.
Assuming that they will fully respond to our prompts, I thank them for their cooperation.
I wish us good success in our new joint effort."


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The Minister of National Defense, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos , in his statement on the signing of the memorandum of cooperation, emphasized:

It is a fact that for the last two years, or so, we have been in consultation with the Ministry of Finance, the supervisory body of the ODA, to develop the project of creation, construction and use in the end (great benefit in the end, as I hope it will be, for the Armed Forces of the country), an unmanned vehicle or several types.

Today I am in the very happy position together with the Minister of Finance, my dear friend Mr. Christos Staikouras, to be present at the signing of this memorandum of cooperation between, on the one hand, the body that will implement this program and the other necessary bodies that are the academic institutions of the country, which are represented by the present Chancellors, have shown a first sample of what they can do in terms of the design and prototype development of such an element.

I got a personal taste, when in October 2019 in a warehouse of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki laboratories I saw a prototype UAV, unmanned, which had been designed by a working group at Aristotle and the next phase was about to be put into test flights. It was just a sample of the work that can be done by the talented and qualified human resources that are the researchers, the academics, the working groups under the Professors and it is not only Aristotle, it is the University of Thessaly, the Democritus University of Thrace and the University of Patras .

Therefore, we have very positive writing samples, but we had to solve a specific exercise. In order for the country to develop through the domestic Defense Industry a type of unmanned aerial vehicle or several types of unmanned aerial vehicles, the following would have to happen:


- To link the original product of academic research or a design initiative such as that developed in ODA, to the operational requirements and specifications as designed by the Armed Forces, who know better than anyone the operational needs of such an element (the non- manned in this case), and, at the same time, to connect these two elements to the core manufacturing phase, which is the connection with industry in order to move from the design to the phase of manufacturing the prototype and testing it and finally to the phase of industrially manufactured, now in greater numbers for distribution to end users.

We tried to solve this exercise together with the Minister of Finance and I am glad that the ODA also joined this exercise as a key participant. Because ODA is a key component of the domestic Defense Industry, it faces some challenges but nevertheless has talent in the form of manpower that can design such systems, know-how and the industrial infrastructure to develop a UAV as it ultimately needs to be developed as a final product. So this was the exercise we solved. Of course, the decision is shared with the Ministry of Finance, which had the opportunity to take the initiative to finance this project.

We, as the Ministry of Defense, first provide all the necessary information on the operational missions of all three Branches of the Armed Forces. The missions of one Branch differ from the other, but certainly all will contribute in terms of their own requirements.
We will determine the characteristics of the UCAV design so that the mission requirements are met. We will allocate specialized personnel, an Air Force officer has already been allocated to this project, so that he can contribute with his special knowledge, as requested by the EAB. Therefore, we will participate in the development and design of the UCAV.




We will contribute to the certification of the external loads, the writing of the operational specifications, of course also the requirements of the various users. We will provide, through the specialized staff, special consulting services, of course, and we will participate in the execution of the standard and service tests.


We will participate in the writing of the flight manuals, both for training and use by future pilots, we will perform the operational checks and special tests, a series of tasks necessary in the development of this product and the contribution, of course, of officers of the Armed Forces, of course under the prompting, agreement and assistance of the Ministry of National Defence.

Therefore, I emphasize that today is an important day, because today this project is made public with the co-signing of the parties to this memorandum. It will not be received, nor will a final result occur in a year or a few months. You know that our neighboring countries spent a lot of time, more than ten years, in order to develop their own products. We, however, can, I think, go faster, as long as an organized and coordinated beginning is made. There is infrastructure, talent, contribution of the academic institutions and I think there are the conditions with the help of the Armed Forces to have a final product.

In the meantime, in order to meet the needs, as you understand, we are doing our own planning to have the Unmanned Vehicles, where they need to be and as we want them, of course, but it is a wishful project for Greece to develop its own product in this level and not only for missions directly related to the needs of the National Defense, but multiple missions, as the Minister of Finance very correctly explained.
Let today be the day of an important beginning. This important project, with undeniable and self-evident national benefit, enters the tracks of implementation with the signing of this memorandum that unites the different pieces of the puzzle and makes us look ahead with optimism, something that will be implemented because there is every mood and every support to be done.


There is, as we said, the contribution of the academic community at the design level. There is a contribution of the industrial infrastructure in design but also the possibility to produce at the level of industrial production. There is a given contribution of the Armed Forces in order to satisfy the demands and needs and there is of course support in this way, that is, in principle, the financing of the planning phase, by the Ministry of Finance, which supervises the ODA. I am glad that together, dear Minister, dear friend Christos, in complete agreement and cooperation without fanfare, without announcements, but with specific work and timetables we will be able to start something good which I believe has already started to produce some first results, we see planned prototype,

However, we have already started to travel this road and I think that today a more solid basis of conditions is being laid that we will travel to the final product, for the benefit, as I said, of both the Armed Forces, and National Security, but also other elements who will benefit from the usefulness of these aircraft'.


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On behalf of EAB, the managing director of the company, Mr. Dimitrios Papakostas , underlined, among other things, the following:




"Today is another milestone in the course and development of the Greek Aviation Industry, because once again we are given the opportunity to collaborate very closely with the Universities, to produce a product for the benefit of our country.

I sincerely thank the Minister of Finance Mr. Christos Staikouras for his undivided support in this particular program, and in the "Archytas" program that we started 1.5 years ago, but also for his general support to our company, which really proved itself valuable over the past three years.
I also thank the Minister of National Defense Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos for his support for the "Grypas" program.

ODA has turned the page, is entering new chapters and is finally starting to show off its skills, know-how and all that it can do."


The Rector of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Professor Mr. Nikolaos Papaioannou stated, among other things:

"1.5 years ago, at the signing of the memorandum of cooperation for the "Archytas" program, we said that we were looking forward to creating the first unmanned aerial vehicle, in cooperation. Today, the extroversion of Greek public universities is proven in practice, but also the confidence with which the state supports such efforts for the last three years. We have come to the point of saying that what we have planned has become a reality, and after it has become a reality, we go to the next step.

On the part of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, we will contribute with all our powers, so that this new, more complex, more modern unmanned aerial vehicle will really benefit all aspects of the activity of our country".


The Vice Chancellor of Academic and International Affairs of the University of Patras, Professor Mr. Dionysios Mantzavinos said:


"It is a great pleasure for the University of Patras to be present today at the signing of this memorandum of cooperation. It is a strategic choice of the University of Patras to participate in projects of great scientific, technological and national importance, such as "Grypas".

Collaborative action by partnerships like this, involving academia, industry, and government, through the Departments of Finance and Defense, looks like it won't just be additive, it'll be multiplicative, and that's the payoff.

I want to thank the Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering of the Polytechnic School of the University of Patras, which participates in this project and will give its best, with its expertise and zeal."


The Rector of the Democritus University of Thrace, Professor Mr. Fotios Maris noted:

"The University of Thrace was very happy to take on the role assigned to it by the Ministries, and first of all the Ministry of Finance. Initially, with the "Archytas" program. We provided the best manpower available to us and whatever else was required.

We will continue this very successful model and the collaboration with notable and important colleagues from the other Universities with the "Grypas" program. A demanding program that you can be sure will succeed. Such programs give us the opportunity to highlight the work of Greek academic institutions, fulfilling with the greatest possible responsibility the role assigned to them by the Greek state".


The Rector of the University of Thessaly, Professor Mr. Zisis Mamouris stated:

"I want to thank the management and executives of the EAB, the Ministry of Finance and the Minister for their undivided dedication to this program, the support they show to the University of Thessaly and the honor that made them trust it, once again, with a big project.

The University of Thessaly is constantly at the forefront of innovation. He wants to achieve extroversion in every way and is at the disposal of any body that wants his services, let alone the State, the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Defense, so that we can implement projects that strengthen our country".


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At the signing event of the memorandum of cooperation between the EAB and the four Universities, the following participated:


  • From EAB, the President of the company Mr. Ioannis Koutras, the Managing Director Mr. Dimitrios Papakostas, the member of the Board of Directors and coordinator of the "Grypas" program Mr. Michael Koronaios, the member of the Board of Directors Mr. Nikolaos Kaliorakis, the General Production Manager Mr. Theodoros Rizos, the General Manager of Strategy and Development Mr. Georgios Stamelos, the Director of Program Management Ms. Dimitra Vrouha, the R&D Director of New Products Mr. Nikolaos Koklas, the Director of the Electronics Factory Mr. Aithon Narlis and the supervising engineer Mr. Anastasios Makrikostas.

  • From the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Rector, Professor Mr. Nikolaos Papaioannou.

  • From the University of Patras, the Vice Chancellor of Academic and International Affairs, Professor Mr. Dionysios Mantzavinos and the person responsible for the project, Professor Mr. Vassilis Kostopoulos.

  • From the Democritus University of Thrace, the Rector, Professor Mr. Fotios Maris, the member of the Board of Management of the University of Athens, Professor Ms. Maria Michalopoulou and those responsible for the project, Professor Mr. Antonios Gasteratos, Professor Mr. Georgios Syrakoulis and Associate Professor Mr. Nikolaos Papanikolaou.

  • From the University of Thessaly, the Rector, Professor Mr. Zisis Mamouris and the person responsible for the project, the Dean of the Polytechnic School, Mr. Georgios Stamoulis.

  • The collaborators of the Minister of Finance in matters of Research and Innovation, Professor Mr. Konstantinos Tsamadias and Assistant Professor Mr. Christos Christodoulou.

  • The Service Secretary of the Ministry of Finance Ms. Penelope Pagoni and the Head of the Privatizations, Securities Management and Business Planning Unit (MADKAES) Mr. Sotirios Anastasopoulos.
 

YeşilVatan

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Greeks actually have a huge potential in this area because they have nearly unlimited access to western parts and subsystems. On the positive side, their systems will have a higher quality ceiling and mature faster. On the negative side they will be dependent on foreigners. They already are so that's not important I guess...

But a more important aspect is can this system find buyers? The reason Turkish MALE UCAVs became huge stars on their area is because they are good, but also because they SELL. It's very hard to finance defence tech and production without exports. And if US gives one go to this market then Greek export potential is DONE. US has better political leverage and can source all critical parts internally.

Making this baby only for HAF is a bad decision financially. I won't comment on the military end of things as the system is not even fleshed out.
 

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Greeks actually have a huge potential in this area because they have nearly unlimited access to western parts and subsystems. On the positive side, their systems will have a higher quality ceiling and mature faster. On the negative side they will be dependent on foreigners. They already are so that's not important I guess...

But a more important aspect is can this system find buyers? The reason Turkish MALE UCAVs became huge stars on their area is because they are good, but also because they SELL. It's very hard to finance defence tech and production without exports. And if US gives one go to this market then Greek export potential is DONE. US has better political leverage and can source all critical parts internally.

Making this baby only for HAF is a bad decision financially. I won't comment on the military end of things as the system is not even fleshed out.
Greece isn't participating in active combat. The whole reason why Turkish drones are selling so well is because they are combat proven. Also the fact that they are being actively used means that TSK constantly gives feedback to manufacturers, meaning that they can be perfected. Greece is at a huge disadvantage here.
 

Brokengineer

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Greeks actually have a huge potential in this area because they have nearly unlimited access to western parts and subsystems. On the positive side, their systems will have a higher quality ceiling and mature faster. On the negative side they will be dependent on foreigners. They already are so that's not important I guess...

But a more important aspect is can this system find buyers? The reason Turkish MALE UCAVs became huge stars on their area is because they are good, but also because they SELL. It's very hard to finance defence tech and production without exports. And if US gives one go to this market then Greek export potential is DONE. US has better political leverage and can source all critical parts internally.

Making this baby only for HAF is a bad decision financially. I won't comment on the military end of things as the system is not even fleshed out.
What Greece lacking is a military industry.
 
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GoatsMilk

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Greeks actually have a huge potential in this area because they have nearly unlimited access to western parts and subsystems. On the positive side, their systems will have a higher quality ceiling and mature faster. On the negative side they will be dependent on foreigners. They already are so that's not important I guess...

But a more important aspect is can this system find buyers? The reason Turkish MALE UCAVs became huge stars on their area is because they are good, but also because they SELL. It's very hard to finance defence tech and production without exports. And if US gives one go to this market then Greek export potential is DONE. US has better political leverage and can source all critical parts internally.

Making this baby only for HAF is a bad decision financially. I won't comment on the military end of things as the system is not even fleshed out.

They don't have much potential, lets not get carried away. The EU tried collectively to come up with all sorts of UAV's and failed. Greece on her own with no industry, no culture of long term planning/project management will not pull anything meaningful off. The only reason they want to show the world they are doing something drone related is because the Turks became a global drone player. If we never made a drone, these guys would continue to believe that drones are worthless. Ironically though as they attempt to make their own drones, they will continue to nationally belittle our achievements in drone technology.
 

YeşilVatan

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They don't have much potential, lets not get carried away. The EU tried collectively to come up with all sorts of UAV's and failed. Greece on her own with no industry, no culture of long term planning/project management will not pull anything meaningful off. The only reason they want to show the world they are doing something drone related is because the Turks became a global drone player. If we never made a drone, these guys would continue to believe that drones are worthless. Ironically though as they attempt to make their own drones, they will continue to nationally belittle our achievements in drone technology.
We gotta evaluate our enemies by their best bro. Westoids wouldn't guess WE could com up with fighter jets and UAVs and here we are.

Besides, I would argue Euro drones failed BECAUSE there are too many countries involved. One final decision maker is absolutely essential in projects like those.

Needless to say, you're right for %90 of the things you say.

Greece isn't participating in active combat. The whole reason why Turkish drones are selling so well is because they are combat proven. Also the fact that they are being actively used means that TSK constantly gives feedback to manufacturers, meaning that they can be perfected. Greece is at a huge disadvantage here.
This is correct.

What Greece lacking is a military industry.
Not if they work at it. It's damn near impossible, I agree. But not impossible. They have to throw a lot of money into it, manage it properly, do talent hunting, placate subsystem producers, find buyers, build facilities, keep doing all these for about 10 years. :)
 
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