“Grypas” | Contract for the design of new UCAV has been signed by Defence & Finance Ministries
Defence Redefined
Published on 15/01/2023 at 17:11

The Ministry of Finance is proceeding with the financing of the design of a second, more complex unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), utilizing the consistent course of work and know-how gained from the “Archytas” program.

In this context, under the supervision of the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of National Defence, the Hellenic Aerospace Industry (HAI), and four Universities of the country – the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the Democritus University of Thrace, the University of Thessaly and the University of Patras – proceeded to sign a memorandum of cooperation for the design and industrial production of the new aircraft.

The event was attended by the Minister of Finance, Mr. Christos Staikouras, the Minister of Defence, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, HAI senior personnel, and the four universities’ rectors.

The implementation of the new program, called “Grypas”, is in progress. The program concerns an Unmanned Combat Aerial Vehicle (UCAV), based on the “Archytas” in certain respects, while differing in respect of the modern weapons it will be capable of carrying.

According to information, the system in question will have a wingspan of at least twenty meters, a take-off weight of about 3 tons, a maximum operating height of 30,000 feet, and a turbojet engine, while the philosophy of the whole project comes down to the fact that the upcoming “Grypas” will fly high, fly far and strike hard.

The Hellenic Armed Forces are looking to get away from limited-capability, short-operational-range UAVs with surveillance capabilities. The UCAV in question will be slightly larger than the Israeli Heron and slightly smaller than the US MQ-9 Reaper.

Also read: Minister of National Defence | Participation of the Hellenic Defence Industry in FDI and Rafale procurements

The program’s timeline includes three very important stages:

  • Design. At this stage, all the details and requirements provided by the Hellenic Armed Forces, underlining interoperability and the transmission of information through encrypted systems, must be included. Upon signing the program, this stage requires approximately 25 months of work.
  • Construction of prototypes to flight tests. This second step will require relatively less time.
  • Production line and first orders of the branches of the Hellenic Armed Forces. In the event of an interested party from abroad, the procedure changes, as it will have to address the government in order to secure permission to export the flying platform.

Also read: Hellenic Defence Systems – Diehl Defence | Sign memorandum of cooperation for the IRIS-T GBAD air defence systems

The Ministry of Defence will determine the characteristics of the UCAV prototype draft, so as to meet the requirements of the missions by having specialized personnel (an Air Force officer has already been assigned to this project), as the HAI requested.

Furthermore, it will contribute to the certification of external loads, to the preparation of the operational specifications and the requirements of the various users, while at the same time, it will provide, through specialized personnel, special consulting services, and participation in the execution of standard and service tests.

It will also participate in the preparation of flight manuals, both for training and use by future pilots, perform operational checks and special tests, a number of tasks necessary in the development of this product.

Now, what is important is Greece’s return to the research, development, and manufacture of its own Unmanned Aerial Vehicle, after almost thirty years of absence with our neighbors having launched their capabilities in this field.

Also read: Chr. Staikouras | Progress in HAI’s UAV program




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