The Greek army withdraws G-3 rifles and Stager trucks
2021 will be the year of farewell to four weapons systems that have been used successfully by the Armed Forces for years. At the same time, it will be a year of welcoming new weapons, state-of-the-art, which will change the balance of power not only in the Aegean, but also in the Eastern Mediterranean, while strengthening the national economy.
The G-3 rifle
The two major programs starting in 2021 are called "National Rifle" and "National Vehicle". The G-3 assault rifle with a caliber of 7,62 mm proved to be reliable, but old. It closed the 44 years of supply. It began construction in 1977 and now the Greek Armed Forces are preparing to say goodbye and replace it with a more modern rifle, with NATO standards. The units of the selectors of the Armed Forces (commandos, marines, Z-MAK, etc.) of the Greek Army have already said goodbye to the G-3 and have been equipped with more modern M16 / M4 weapons, however the need for an advanced weapon , which will bring modern shooting, will be easy to use and will be able to cope with any conditions, is more than imperative. The units of Evros, however, kept the older FN.
The evaluation of weapons (from many countries) that will replace the G-3 is already underway in the competent directorates of the General Staff. It is noted that the Greek G-3 had not known military operations since their construction, therefore there is a large number of weapons that are currently in excellent condition.
The M1911 pistol
Along with the G-3 in 2021, the Greek army will say goodbye to the also legendary M1911 pistol. Thus, the new rifle and the new pistol that will be used by the Armed Forces, but also by the security forces will now be made in Greece by Greek hands.
The Mercedes-Benz W462
During this year, the legendary Mercedes of the Armed Forces and the Greek Police, assembled by ELVO, also say goodbye. Most people may not know that our country has produced more than 10.000 Mercedes-Benz W462 in various variants and another 250 right-hand drive for the needs of the National Guard of Cyprus (since in Cyprus the steering wheel is on the right).
For decades, the Greek Mercedes have tirelessly served the Armed Forces, but now they have reached the end of their life, while they do not meet any of the standards of security and protection of NATO. The new vehicles that will be selected must necessarily have armor on windows and windshields as well as in the passenger cabin. It is estimated that when the new national vehicle is selected (either national truck or national armor - say it like that), the total replacement of the Mercedes jeep fleet will take place in five years.
The legendary truck, Steyr
Because along with the jeeps, the (also legendary) Stager trucks will be replaced. Those who have served in the military know very well what Stager is. It was the official vehicle for transporting Army personnel and goods, which is now being fired. The vehicle that together with the "Canadians" and the older American Reos helped many Greeks to get a truck license while fulfilling their military service. It is a rugged vehicle that goes almost everywhere, from the rugged roads and rivers of Evros to the sandiest areas of the islands. It began to be manufactured in Greece in 1972 in two versions and now that it has been decided due to aging its retirement, what many will miss the most will be the memories.
But the Air Force is also going to say goodbye to weapons. According to the contract for the purchase of 18 (new and used) Rafale, there is a proposal to sell to the French the older Mirage 2000EGM, which have completed 35 years of supply and are considered to have completed their cycle. Beware, however, that the Mirage 2000-5 (which is already starting all over again with the supply of spare parts flying) will not be sold, but the older Mirage 2000.
But 2021 will be a year for the reception of new weapons systems. First of all the new Rafale, then the upgraded VIPER F-16, the state-of-the-art Romeo anti-submarine helicopters, the new torpedoes of the "invisible" submarines, the new armored (rubber) M1117 ASV (from the reserves) of the American army the modernization of the Patriots, the Israeli Heron drones for our border surveillance, the start of the program for the four new frigates, the application for the purchase of six used F-35s and the participation (as soon as the upgrade of the F-16s is completed) in F-35 construction program as well as the modernization of the missile systems.
But the most important thing that will happen in 2021 is the start of work on the construction of a second port in Souda, turning Crete into an unsinkable aircraft carrier and a checkpoint in the SE Mediterranean region.