Hellenic Navy and Air Force Collaborate to Safeguard Red Sea Shipping
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By The Smartencyclopedia Staff & Agencies

As part of strategic military operations, the crew of the Hellenic Navy frigate Hydra (F-452) is poised to gain invaluable operational experience in one of the world’s critical hotspots – the Red Sea. Scheduled to set sail in mid-February, the mission aligns with Greece’s commitment to modernize its armed forces and enhance deterrence capabilities against technologically advanced threats.

The Hellenic Navy’s presence in the Red Sea is complemented by the Greek military mission in Saudi Arabia, focused on safeguarding the kingdom’s oil fields from potential missile threats. Together, these missions in the Middle East aim to extract crucial insights into 21st-century military operational strategies and the effective management of contemporary threats.

The modernization drive stems from lessons drawn from ongoing conflicts in regions such as Armenia, Ukraine, and Gaza. Greece is particularly concerned with countering unmanned aerial, maritime, and submarine systems, recognizing the evolving nature of modern warfare.

The Hydra frigate is poised to play a dual role in the Red Sea, contributing to both the European naval forces in the region and Operation Prosperity Guardian under United States command. The European mission is pending a final decision by Brussels, expected by February 20, where key elements like rules of engagement and the command structure will be clarified. Greece is among the candidate countries to assume command of the naval force and the command and control headquarters.

Preparations for Hydra’s mission include ensuring full combat readiness, with the installation of new electronic warfare support measures (ESM) and an anti-drone system. These upgrades are set to be completed in the next two to three weeks, enhancing the frigate’s capability to detect and identify electromagnetic radiation sources.

The Red Sea operation will provide Navy crews with vital experience in detecting and countering unmanned weapons and anti-ship missiles frequently employed by Yemen’s Houthis in attacks against merchant vessels and warships. This hands-on experience will contribute to the development of modern field operation strategies for the Greek Armed Forces.

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Simultaneously, the Greek Air Force unit stationed in Saudi Arabia since September 2021 will play a pivotal role in the region. Equipped with MIM-104 Patriot surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles, the unit may see an upgrade to the Pac-3 version after the completion of its mission. The Air Force’s 347 “Perseus” Squadron will also deploy F-16 multirole fighter aircraft to Saudi Arabia next month for the Spears of Victory joint military exercise.

Looking beyond the immediate region, Greece’s civilian and military leadership aims to strengthen military cooperation with Armenia, leveraging the country’s extensive experience in engaging Turkish-made unmanned aerial vehicles. As geopolitical dynamics continue to evolve, Greece remains committed to enhancing its military capabilities and fostering partnerships to address emerging threats effectively.

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