A new American base has been set up in the Greek city of Larisa, which is part of the 110th Fighter Wing. The promising American MQ-9 Reaper UAVs are based on it.
In the past, they operated in Larissa, there were two of them, and they were engaged in a surveillance mission in North Africa. This time, 8 UAVs with their own operating platforms and their own personnel are located on a permanent basis at the military base. The drones are still operating in surveillance mode and, according to the Americans, do not carry missiles, but if necessary, they can carry air-to-surface missiles.
These advanced drones can continuously operate in the air for 20 hours. This is much more than, for example, the Turkish Bayraktar TB2.
Their goal is surveillance in the Mediterranean Sea area with a range of 1850 kilometers, which means that they can perform tasks in the Black Sea in order to monitor traffic in this area at the height of the Russian-Ukrainian war.
ToVima reports that a total of $33.5 million has been invested in the 110th Fighter Aviation Regiment so that this base (which is the heart of the Greek air defense system) can now and in the future accommodate technologically advanced platforms and drones. At the same time, Greece does not receive any payments for the deployment of US military bases in the country.
The MQ-9 Reaper is a modular reconnaissance and strike UAV developed by General Atomics Aeronautical Systems for use by the US Air Force, US Navy and British Air Force. The first flight took place on February 2, 2001. Can carry: up to 4 AGM-114 Hellfire air-to-ground missiles; up to 8 in modification MQ–9A andwhether 4 Hellfire missiles and two Mark 82 laser-guided bombs (GBU-12 Paveway II), or Mark 82 GPS-guided bombs (GBU-38 JDAM)
They will also operate in the Mediterranean region. According to Greek mediathe new base of American UAVs causes irritation in Turkey.
The Greek armed forces are negotiating the purchase of three American drones of the same type. On July 5, 2022, the Greek Parliament approved the acquisition of 3 MQ-9B SeaGuardian UAVs along with 2 ground stations. With the acquisition of the MQ-9 Reaper, Greece will be able to monitor the vulnerable area of the Eastern Mediterranean and beyond.