05:46 GMT09 July 2020
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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israel will be leasing reconnaissance drones to Greece for the protection of borders under a three-year agreement signed on Wednesday by the two countries' respective ministries of defence, the Israeli Defence Ministry said in a press release.

    This agreement is the first one ever signed between the defence ministries of Israel and Greece. Due to the coronavirus-related restrictions, it was signed electronically.

    "Under the agreement, the Israeli Ministry of Defense will provide Greece with an IAI Heron unmanned aerial vehicle system in its offshore configuration for three years with the possibility of purchasing the system after the completion of the leasing period," the Israeli ministry's press release read.

    According to the text, the leased system includes day and night work platforms, maritime patrol radars and satellite communications tools, as well as enhanced operational capacity in a wide range of scenarios, including maritime patrols, protection of maritime and land borders, search and rescue operations, disaster and emergency assistance, among others.

    The Israeli ministry has expressed hope that this agreement will launch a succession of many more in what it had described as "great security relations between Israel and Greece."

    "We hope to sign additional agreements with Greece, as well as with other European partners, helping them to solve security problems — during and after the COVID-19 pandemic," Yair Kulas, the head of the ministry's Department of International Defense Cooperation, said, as quoted in the press release.

    Heron surveillance drones are already widely in use by the military in many countries and have a cumulative flight record of approximately 1.8 million hours. They are considered to be among the world's most advanced devices.

    Tags:
    Greece, border, leasing agreement, drones, Israel
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