The Greek army is considered one of the most combat-ready in NATO. Athens is forced to maintain a fairly large number of armed forces because of tense relations with Turkey. Both states are members of the North Atlantic Alliance, but between them there are unresolved disputes over the borders and on the issue of Cyprus. In 1974, Greece and Turkey were on the verge of an open armed clash because of territorial claims. And until now, Athens and Ankara can not divide the islands into the Aegean Sea. The armies of NATO countries - in a series of photo galleries RT.
The Turkish factor has a huge influence on the development of the Greek Armed Forces.
The number of the Greek army is 161 thousand people with 252 thousand reservists. Greece is one of the few NATO countries that has retained the recruitment system, although the life of young people has been reduced from two years to 6-9 months.
According to the Greek law, all male citizens aged from 18 to 45 years are subject to the call.
Greece is the third country in NATO (after the US and Turkey) in terms of the number of weapons. On the balance sheet of the Greek armed forces are 1,3 thousand tanks, 4,2 thousand units of armored vehicles, 547 self-propelled artillery systems and 152 MLRS.
The tank forces of Greece consist of German Leopard-2A6HEL, Leopard-2A4, Leopard-1, American M60A1 / A3 and M48A5. The share of modern tanks does not exceed 30%. By the way, the problem of obsolete tanks is also in the hands of the Turkish Armed Forces.
Greece is very dependent on imports of military equipment. The Greek defense complex looks much more modest than the Turkish one, which is capable of producing fairly modern weapons.
In the Greek Armed Forces one can find weapons from the FRG, the USA, Austria, Italy, France and Czechoslovakia. A significant share is made of Soviet or Russian military equipment.
From the armaments produced in the USSR or Russia, the S-300PMU1 anti-aircraft missile systems, the Tor-M1, the Osa-M anti-tank complexes, the Cornet-E and Fagot anti-tank systems, the 1A1 BMP are represented in the Greek army.
The Army of Greece includes four army corps and two commands. The most powerful grouping is the 1-I Field Army, which is responsible for the defense of the northern and eastern territories of the country.
The first and fourth corps are the vanguard of the military power of Greece and are in constant combat readiness. The third corps consists of a rapid reaction force and is designed to carry out tasks within NATO. The second building serves as a reserve.
The Greek Navy, like the ground forces, is experiencing difficulties in replacing aging equipment. The Ministry of Defense of Greece is writing off the obsolete ships, but does not receive new ones. In addition, the Greek shipyards are directly dependent on foreign technologies and components.
From the data of the Stockholm Institute (SIPRI) it follows that the Greek military budget is decreasing due to the economic crisis. The peak of defense spending fell to 2009 year (€ 7,66 billion). In 2016, the Greek military budget declined to the level of the end of the 1990-ies (€ 4,4 billion).
According to Global Firepower, the Greek Navy consists of 13 frigates, 25 patrol ships, 4 minesweepers and 11 submarines. Surface ships Greece produces under license from foreign countries, and the submarine imports from Germany.
The Greek Air Force is one of the largest in Europe. The basis of the fighter wing is the American F-16C / D, F-4E PI-2000, RF-4E, A / TA-7E / H (attack aircraft). The most modern combat aircraft are the French Mirage 2000.
Experts believe that the US will not allow a military clash between Greece and Turkey. However, in the coming decades, tension between the two countries will continue. Annually Athens and Ankara accuse each other of numerous violations of airspace.