Greek Patriot missile systems deployed soon in Saudi Arabia

Relations between Greece and Saudi Arabia are at their highest level, Makis Pollatos reports in Greek City Times. Saudi F-15 fighter jets arrived in Crete for co-training with Greek fighter jets. Furthermore, Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and National Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos will travel to Riyadh on April 20 to sign an agreement for the deployment of a Greek Patriot air defense missile system to Saudi Arabia.
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Greek Patriot air defense system (Picture source:

The decision to lend a Greek Patriot air defense system to Saudi Arabia indicates the intensity of cooperation and understanding between Athens and Riyadh. Talks regarding the deployment started in October 2019 after the Yemeni strike on state-owned company Aramco in Saudi Arabia, on 14 September. On forthcoming April 20, Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias and Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos will travel to Riyadh to formalize the agreement to transfer Greek Patriot missile systems to Saudi Arabia. The Saudis will cover transportation and operation costs of the Patriot battery from Greece, and will also finance the upgrade of the Greek anti-aircraft systems to the PAC-3 version. In February 2021, Dendias said the two countries may be close to signing a Status of Forces Agreement that will allow Greek military personnel to be stationed in Saudi Arabia for as long as the Patriot battery remains in the kingdom.

Greece’s agreement with Saudi Arabia will include the necessary Air Force personnel, at least 40 officers and non-commissioned officers, who will be transferred to Saudi Arabia and will be in charge of the Patriot system. With this operation, Athens seeks to further forge bilateral relations with Riyadh as it does methodically with Abu Dhabi. In fact, a tripartite cooperation meeting of Cyprus, Greece and the United Arab Emirates is planned for the near future, with which Athens has concluded a mutual defense assistance clause on November 22, 2020, Makis Pollatos recalls.

In March 2021, units from the Royal Saudi Air Force participated in the "Falcon Eye 1" exercises with their Greek counterparts on the island of Crete. The drill started with a number of sorties from both Royal Saudi Air Force’s F-15C fighters and Hellenic Air Force’s F-16, Mirage 2000 and F-4 Phantom fighters.