WASHINGTON — Greece is buying anti-tank missiles from Israel in a €370 million (U.S. $403 million) deal, the weapon’s manufacturer announced Monday.
The signatories to the government-to-government agreement for the Spike missiles were Eyal Zamir, director general of Israel’s Defense Ministry, and Aristeidis Alexopulos, head of Greece’s General Directorate for Defense Investments and Armaments, according to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, which makes the weapon.
“This project joins a series of agreements between the State of Israel and the Hellenic Republic, and further emphasizes the strong partnership between our countries and our defense establishments, as well as our mutual commitment to ensuring regional stability,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said in a statement distributed by Rafael.
The sale follows last week’s purchase of the Israeli-made air defense system David’s Sling by Finland, which recently joined Greece as a NATO member. Israel’s International Defense Cooperation Directorate, which is part of the Defense Ministry, led the agreement for the export of the naval-, air- and land-based missiles.
Spike weapons comes in several variants and include electro-optical technology for precise targeting. Rafael’s website says 39 nations use the weapon, and that it has sold about 30,000 missiles, which can fire from 45 different platforms.
Of those users, 19 are members of the EU and/or NATO.
“This agreement with the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense is yet another expression of the strategic partnership between Israel and Greece. It is part of a series of agreements worth billions of shekels which we have signed in the last two years, including the recent update of the Greek Air Force Pilot Training Center’s capabilities,” Zamir said in the Rafael statement.
Anti-tank missiles are among the weapons proving popular in Europe since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022.
For its part, Greece has committed €19 million in military aid to Ukraine from Jan. 24, 2022, to February 24, 2023, according to the Kiel Institute, which tracks support to the war-torn country.