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“Zeus Herkeios”: Capturing the Readiness of the Greek National Guard – Stunning Photos by Greek Defense Ministry

Zeus Herkeios: Capturing the Readiness of the Greek National Guard - Stunning Photos by Greek Defense Ministry

According to a recent announcement by the Greek Ministry of Defense “The Deputy Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Hardalias, attended on Saturday, May 6, 2023, the Tactical Exercise that aims to exercise the Greek National Guard with asymmetric threats in populated areas called “HERKEIOS ZEUS”, which took place at the Exercise Field ” AMPELONAS”, in Komotini.

The Exercise was attended by officers and members of the National Guard Battalions of Echinus, Komotini, Nestos, Xanthi, Rodopi and Sapon, of the 29th Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

The Exercise was also attended by the Commanders of the 1st Army/EU-OHQ Lieutenant General Ioannis Tsioplos, of the 4th Army Corps Lieutenant General Dimokritos Konstandakos and of the 29th Mechanized Infantry Brigade, Brigadier General Anestis Eleftheriadis, a delegation of officers of the Hellenic Armed Forces and Security Forces, as well as retired Army officers.

The Deputy Greek Defense Minister, after the end of the Exercise, from the “AMPELONA” Exercise Field, made the following statement:

“I want to express my absolute satisfaction with the level of preparedness, as well as the combat worthiness of our National Guardsmen, which I had the pleasure to see in person once again. In a few days, I will be with them again to attend an exercise with an equally challenging content in the Lower Neurocopi. Our fellow citizens deserve only admiration for those who spare neither personal time nor expenses to contribute to the high cause of defending our homeland. The country will continue to invest in the National Guard, as was done recently with the passing of Law 5018/2023, which completely upgraded the institution. Let our National Guards know that the country will be always a helper in their efforts!”, concludes the announcement.

See here some of the photos published by the Greek Defense Ministry:

Turkey Rejects US Offer to Send S-400 to Ukraine, Citing Sovereignty Concerns

Turkey Rejects US Offer to Send S-400 to Ukraine, Citing Sovereignty Concerns

Turkey has declined an offer from the United States to send the Russian-made S-400 anti-aircraft system they’ve purchased to Ukraine. Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu announced the decision and criticized the proposal as a violation of Turkey’s sovereignty. The move has further strained relations between the two countries, which have been in turmoil since Turkey’s purchase of the S-400 system led to its removal from the F-35 fighter jet program and sanctions under the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA).

According to Cavusoglu, Turkey is not seeking to rejoin the F-35 program, but rather wants the US to return the money it paid for the jets. Additionally, Turkey has expressed interest in purchasing the Patriot air defense system from the US but has criticized the lack of official approval for the purchase by Congress.

The Turkish government signed an agreement with Russia in 2017 to purchase the S-400 air defense system for $4.4 billion, citing an “emergency” need for the system. Turkey’s decision to procure the S-400 from Russia was a first for a NATO country, and it caused concern among the alliance’s members, particularly the US.

While negotiations for the purchase of F-16 fighter jets have been completed, the US State Department has yet to notify Congress officially. Turkey has stated its intention to produce its own fighter jets and wants to purchase the F-16 as part of that effort.

Turkey’s rejection of the US offer to send the S-400 system to Ukraine reflects its growing unease with US policies towards its country. Turkey sees the move as a violation of its sovereignty and has called for the US to approve the sale of the Patriot air defense system, which it views as a necessary component of its defense strategy.

In conclusion, Turkey’s decision to reject the US offer to send the S-400 system to Ukraine highlights its concerns over its national sovereignty and the need to secure its defense capabilities. The strained relations between the two countries will likely continue unless a mutually acceptable solution is reached, which respects Turkey’s sovereignty and meets its defense needs.

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President of Cyprus Discusses Hydrocarbon Exploration Plans with TOTAL and Other Companies

President of Cyprus Discusses Hydrocarbon Exploration Plans with TOTAL and Other Companies

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, Nikos Christodoulides, recently met with representatives of the hydrocarbon industry operating within the country’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The meeting focused on the exploration of hydrocarbon reserves within the island’s EEZ, with the aim of serving the domestic market and exporting surplus energy to the European Union.

The meeting was held in Paris, where the President was invited by French President Emmanuel Macron. TOTAL, a French multinational oil and gas company, was represented by a delegation led by Laurent Vivier, Senior Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa. Also present were Jean Jaylet, Vice President for North Africa, and Romain de La Martiniere, the company’s senior manager for Cyprus.

During the meeting, President Christodoulides expressed satisfaction with TOTAL’s interest in Cyprus’ hydrocarbon reserves. He emphasized the need to simultaneously exploit the deposits while serving the domestic market, which faces high electricity prices. He also highlighted the importance of exporting the surplus to the EU, given its efforts to become energy-independent.

Christodoulides’ intention is to have a joint meeting with all the companies operating within Cyprus’ EEZ to explore the possibility of collaborations that will facilitate the exploitation of available reserves, first for the domestic market and then for export to Europe.

President Christodoulides acknowledged that society has legitimate concerns and questions regarding the country’s utilization of hydrocarbon reserves. He promised that the government would address these concerns and provide specific announcements regarding energy plans in the near future.

The meeting was attended by Cyprus’ Minister of Foreign Affairs, Konstantinos Kombos, Government Spokesman Konstantinos Letympiotis, Ambassador Giorgos Siakallis, and Marilena Rauna, the Director of the Diplomatic Office of the President.

Cyprus’ hydrocarbon reserves have the potential to boost the country’s economy significantly. The government’s focus on exploiting these reserves, while simultaneously addressing concerns regarding domestic energy prices, is a positive step towards the country’s long-term economic development. With the right investment, Cyprus could become a key player in the region’s energy sector.

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Wagner Group Withdraws from Bakhmut Due to Ammunition Shortage

Wagner Group Withdraws from Bakhmut Due to Ammunition Shortage

The paramilitary group known as Wagner has announced its withdrawal from the Ukrainian city of Bakhmut after months of intense fighting. The group’s commander, Yevgeny Prigozhin, attributed the withdrawal to a shortage of ammunition, which he blames on the Russian Defense Ministry.

Wagner Group is a private military contractor believed to be closely linked to the Russian government. It has been involved in numerous conflicts around the world, including Syria, Libya, and Ukraine. In Ukraine, the group has been fighting on the side of Russian-backed separatists in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

The battle for Bakhmut, a strategically important city located in the Donetsk region, has been one of the longest and most violent of the war so far. Wagner Group has been leading the fight to take the city, but the lack of ammunition has made the group vulnerable to Ukrainian counterattacks.

According to Prigozhin, the losses suffered by the group would have been much less if they had access to enough ammunition. In a video released by the group, Prigozhin can be seen standing among corpses and criticizing Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in very offensive terms for the losses Wagner suffered in Ukraine.

It is not clear why the Russian Defense Ministry has not provided sufficient ammunition to Wagner Group. Some analysts speculate that the ministry may be trying to distance itself from the group, which has become a liability for the Russian government.

After Wagner’s withdrawal, Russia’s armed forces will take over the group’s positions in Bakhmut.

In conclusion, the withdrawal of Wagner Group from Bakhmut due to a shortage of ammunition is a significant development in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.

“Wasp” and “America” ​​class: The mini aircraft carriers of the US Navy

Photo By Naval Surface Warriors - https://www.flickr.com/photos/navalsurfaceforces/43608856255/, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=72940644

A “tool” of the US Navy that many forget are the Wasp and America class “mini aircraft carriers”. Perhaps when we think of the US Navy our mind goes to the large surface combatants like the Arleigh Burke, the Ticonderoga or the aircraft carriers like the Nimitz and now the Gerald R. Ford class, but we should not underestimate amphibious operations ships with the ability to use fighter jets.

Aircraft carriers of amphibious operations

The “dual use” of amphibious assault ships is not a doctrine that began with the use of Wasp or America but has existed in the Navy for many decades. The first ships in the role designed to initially carry helicopters were the Iwo Jima-class LPH (Landing Platform Helicopter).

"Wasp" and "America" ​​class: The "mini aircraft carriers" of the US Navy - GEOPOLITIKI
Photo By TECH. SGT. REYNOLDS – DoD Media, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1042815

They served in the Navy from 1961 to 2002 and were capable of carrying up to 25 helicopters while one ship of the class, the LPH-12 Inchon, was the testbed for intergrading AV-8 Harriers on it.

About a decade later, the Tarawa-class LHAs (Landing Helicopter Assault) began to enter service. They were better equipped to carry aircraft allowing a number of AV-8 Harriers to be carried and could also carry more helicopters than Iwo Jima Class ships. The ships of the class were fully retired by 2015.

"Wasp" and "America" ​​class: The "mini aircraft carriers" of the US Navy - GEOPOLITIKI
081101-N-5148B-008 PACIFIC OCEAN (Nov. 1, 2008) The Tarawa-class amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) steams through the Pacific Ocean with more than 250 guests for a scheduled Tiger Cruise. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Sarah E. Bitter/Released)

The Navy now has two classes of amphibious assault ships capable of carrying combat aircraft, the Wasp-class LHD (Landing Helicopter Dock) and the America-class LHA (Landing Helicopter Assault).

LHD Wasp

Based on the LHA Tarawa, they were the first ships ready to support fighter aircraft from the start. The Wasps have a longer deck, with the overall length of the ship reaching 257 meters, but maintaining the same width. Two obvious differences between the two ships are the Wasp’s more “square” deck and its “shorter” bridge.

At the same time, the Wasps have a larger hangar as well as suitable maintenance facilities for fighter aircraft and have the ability to carry a larger amount of fuel for the aircraft that operate from it.

In total they can carry up to 42 helicopters and planes. On them usually is a “mix” of helicopters such as AH-1W/Z Super Cobra/Viper, CH-46 Sea Knight, CH-53 Sea Stallion, SH-60 Sea Hawk, UH-1N/Y Huey, MV-22B Osprey while they can operate up to 20 fighters, either AV-8 Harrier or F-35B.

"Wasp" and "America" ​​class: The "mini aircraft carriers" of the US Navy
Photo By Matthew Fern from Squaw Valley, CA, United States – USS Essex (LHD-2) – Port Bow viewUploaded by oxyman, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=10134045

The Wasp did not only have improvements related to their aviation facilities. They made use of LCAC landing aircraft while having a maximum transport capacity of 61 AAV-7s, of course for the needs of the Marines a “load” of 5 M1A1 Abrams tanks, 25 AAV-7s as well as the necessary number of accompanying trucks and other vehicles is more common.

Obviously, due to their high value, Wasps must also have the appropriate means of self-protection. These include, 2 Mk29 launchers (NSSM/ESSM), 2 RAM launchers, 3 Phalanx and 4 Mk28 RWS 25mm. At the same time, they have countermeasures, Flares and Chaff (SARBOC, AN/SLQ-49), torpedo countermeasures AN/SLQ-25 as well as the electronic warfare (ECM) suite AN/SLQ-32.

LHA America

The America class ships are the most modern amphibious assault ships in the Navy. Like the Wasp, they were designed from the start based on specifications to be able to host AV-8s as well as F-35Bs.

They entered service in 2014, replacing LHA Tarawa Class. They have an even greater displacement, of 45,000 tons, surpassing even some “classic” aircraft carriers.
The design was based on a modified Wasp-class ship, the USS Makin Island, with the goal of having even larger infrastructure for hosting and maintaining aircraft. This was done by “removing” the space (well-deck) from which the amphibious AAV-7 and LCAC operate.

This limits the first two ships (Block 0) of the class, LHA-6 America and LHA-7 Tripoli, to air insertion operations only, mainly using the OV-22 Osprey and CH-53 King Stalion. For the next ships (Block 1), LHA-8 Bougainville, LHA-9 Fellujah as well as the next ships to follow, the well-deck will be “installed” again.

"Wasp" and "America" ​​class: The "mini aircraft carriers" of the US Navy - GEOPOLITIKI
Photo By Alan Hinkel – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=37465725

One of the reasons why it was decided to install the well-deck back on the ships was based on the lessons learned from the Marines’ intervention in Lebanon where it was judged that the use of only aerial means left them exposed.

At the same time, for the Block 1s, to compensate for the further reduction of space below the deck for the aircraft, the space available on the ship’s deck was increased by 20%.

For Block 0s a typical airwing might include 12 Ospreys, 6 F-35Bs, 4 CH-53s, 2 MH-60s, 3-4 AH-1s and as many UH-1s. Obviously depending on the mission the ship’s airwing can be modified accordingly, one example being the extensive use of fighters, allowing up to 20 F-35Bs to operate from LHA America.

Finally, their weaponry is similar to that of the Wasp. They have 2 Mk29 (NSSM/ESSM), 2 RAM, 2 Phalanx as well as 3 Mk28 RWS of 25mm. They also have the AN/SLQ-32 electronic warfare suite, as well as Nulka countermeasures.

The value of Wasp and America

The value of ships of both classes cannot be understated for the US Navy. Both are capable of landing a Marine Expeditionary Unit (MEU) in a hostile environment as well as supporting this force with aircraft that will operate from the ship itself.

"Wasp" and "America" ​​class: The "mini aircraft carriers" of the US Navy
Photo By Jonathan Webb – RAF F35B Lightning II, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=71189749

Even during amphibious operations, the number of “only” 8 F-35Bs available should not be underestimated, while in the “Lightning Carrier” configuration, the ability to operate with 20 F-35Bs, roughly a squadron of 5th generation fighters, makes them serious threat under almost any circumstances.

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Falklands War: The battle for Air supremacy over the islands

Falklands: The battle for air supremacy over the islands
Photo By wiltshirespotter - XZ999, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=56275210

The Falklands War can be considered one of the most important conflicts of the last decades, with the Air Force playing an important role. The aircraft of both sides had a great contribution to the outcome of the war.

The aircraft available on the two sides

In the Falklands War Argentina had at its disposal a wide range of aircraft, both under the command of the Air Force and under the command of the Navy. The Air Force had, among others, 36 A-4 Skyhawk, 27 IAI Dagger (Israeli variant of the Mirage V), 16 Mirage III, 8 B-62 Canberra, 24 Pucara. At the same time, the Navy had 4 Super Etendard, 8 A-4 Skyhawk as well as a number of helicopters, MPAs etc.

On the other hand, Britain had to deploy around 28 Sea Harriers (800, 801, 809 Squadrons) as part of the expeditionary force on the aircraft carriers HMS Hermes and HMS Invincible. At the same time, there were 14 Harrier GR.3, 3 F-4 Phantom GR.2, 4 Avro Vulcan and 20 Victor on Ascension Island which acted as a middle point between the British Isles and the Falklands.

Numerically, we can see that the balance between the two was overwhelmingly in favor of Argentina, especially when we consider that at the start of the war the only aircraft available to Britain were around 20 Sea Harriers.

Falklands: The battle for air supremacy over the islands
Photo By Martín Otero – Own work, CC BY 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=2963784

Shifting the balance to Britain’s favour

This fact was also evident to the British who realized that before sending troops to recapture the Falklands they would have to gain air superiority over the islands. In the Falklands there were 3 airfields of which the one in Stanley was the most important, so on May 1st it was the target of an Avro Vulcan.

Based on Ascension Island, assisted by 11 aerial refueling aircraft, 2 Vulcans began, as a part of Operation Black Buck, a 16 hour ‘journey’ to target this airfield. Of the 2 bombers, one had to return to base, but the other managed to bomb Stanley airfield.

Thus, it became apparent that Britain was capable of potentially bombing even mainland Argentina, forcing the Air Force to hold back some of its aircraft. At the same time, the sinking of the cruiser Belgrano led the Argentine Navy to suspend the operations of the aircraft carrier Veinticinco de Mayo.

Falklands: The battle for air supremacy over the islands
Photo By Horacio Claria – commons file, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=65144832

On the same day there was also the first air battle between the two countries. An Argentine strike force of 36 aircraft was sent to the islands with the aim of striking British forces. The mission had mixed results as only some of the IAI Daggers managed to locate British ships which were positioned near the island.

On the other hand, the British Sea Harriers managed to shoot down 1-3 fighters (Dagger or Mirage) and 1 Canberra.

The sinking of HMS Sheffield

Argentina’s response can be considered an attack on the British fleet and the sinking of HMS Sheffield. Three days later, an Argentine MPA SP-2H spotted the British destroyer. The attack was carried out cooperatively between two Super Etendards, two IAI Daggers, a KC-130 and a Learjet.

Super Etendards were the strike force armed with Exocet anti-ship missiles. In order to reach the target, aerial refueling from the KC-130 was necessary, which was accompanied by 2 IAI Daggers. Finally, the Learjet was in the area as a decoy.

The Etendards were flying very low to avoid the craft’s radar while receiving position information from the SP-2H. Finally, and after the fighters climbed higher, an Exocet from each was fired towards the ship.

Countering the attack from the ship was non-existent since it was unable to detect both the aircraft and the missiles. The battle stations were not manned, neither the main gun nor Sea Dart were fired. The first Exocet missed, but the second hit the ship’s engine room.
The ship sank on May 10th, while 20 people lost their lives in the attack. It was the first ship loss for the British Navy from WWII. The set of events led to an investigation into the sinking of the ship.

The sinking of HMS Sheffield forced the Navy to operate even further from the islands, which created many “gaps” which Argentina exploited.

Naval strike against the British fleet

The sinking of HMS Sheffield was not Argentina’s only successful attempt to attack the British fleet. During the landing of the British forces at San Carlos, Argentine Mirage IIIs, IAI Daggers and especially A-4 Skyhawks carried out continuous raids against the fleet.
During these operations Britain lost 3 ships while 8 more were damaged. It is thought that the very low altitude at which the bombs were dropped prevented a large number of them from detonating. If things had turned out differently then the British navy would have suffered many more losses.

Falklands: The battle for air supremacy over the islands
Photo By Armada Argentina – A4-Q-decolando, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45113636

The ships sunk in San Carlos, which was nicknamed “Bomb Alley” because of the raids, were HMS Ardent, HMS Antelope and HMS Coventry. At the same time, Britain lost 4 helicopters while 22 Argentine aircraft were shot down.

Also of great tactical importance was the sinking of the MV Atlantic Conveyor by two Exocets. The ship was carrying critical equipment, fuel, ammunition as well as Chinook, Westland Wessex and Westland Lynx helicopters.

The technological superiority of the Harrier

Ultimately, despite their small numbers, the Harriers and Sea Harriers at the disposal of the British Navy played a huge role. In the air, thanks to their more capable radar, the AIM-9L Sidewinders and their better maneuverability, the Sea Harriers could beat the comparatively weaker Argentine aircraft. At the same time, the Harrier GR.3s that operated from the aircraft carriers mainly undertook bombing missions of the enemy positions.

A total of 28 Sea Harriers accounted for at least 20 kills, with none lost against an Argentine fighter. But, 2 aircraft were lost to anti-aircraft fire and 4 in accidents.

Falklands: The battle for air supremacy over the islands
Photo By clipperarctic – RAF Harrier GR. 3, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=28485597

The aftermath

The Falklands War ended with the surrender of Argentine forces on the island. The battle in the air ended with 24 helicopters and 10 aircraft lost for Britain. On the other hand, Argentina lost 25 helicopters and 75 aircraft.
For Argentina, the most important accomplishment could be considered the success of striking British ships, while for Britain the achieving air superiority over the islands despite the small number of aircraft available.

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Russia tries to prevent the Ukrainian counterattack with a barrage of missile attacks

Russia tries to prevent the Ukrainian counterattack with a barrage of missile attacks

Russia launched yesterday, a second wave of deadly airstrikes across Ukraine, killing two people in the town of Pavlohrad, officials said.

This attack follows last Friday’s barrage of fire that included more than 20 cruise missile launches and two kamikaze UAVs targeting Ukraine, which killed 21 people, including three children, when Russian missiles hit an apartment building.

Although Ukraine claims to have shot down 15 of the 18 Russian missiles, two Ukrainians were killed and 40 others injured in the latest attack. The strikes caused significant damage to military-industrial facilities in Pavlohrad.

In response to the attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said Monday night that Russia’s actions would not go unanswered. He stated: “For every such attack, the Russian invaders will get our answer.”

Amid concerns about an expected Ukrainian counterattack, Russia’s defense minister urged the Russian Defense Industry to double its missile production.

Russia’s defense ministry said its forces used high-precision, long-range missiles from both the air and sea against Ukrainian military-industrial facilities.

However, a Russian official in the occupied Zaporizhzhia region, Vladimir Rogov, claimed that the strike hit ammunition and fuel depots in Pavlohrad and that the strike would delay Ukraine’s planned counter-offensive.

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Macron to Cyprus: “You have our military support whenever you need it”

Macron to Cyprus:

The assurance that the Republic of Cyprus can rely on the undivided support of France in what concerns the national problem, was expressed today by the President of France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron, highlighting the commitment and will of the President of Cyprus, Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis, in the efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

The President of the Republic of Cyprus, who is in Paris, had a meeting today at noon with the President of France, at the Presidential Palace (Elysee), where upon his arrival he received a warm and cordial welcome from President Macron, while a military commander paid his respects.

Immediately after the reception, the two Presidents made statements to the media.

President of France, Macron, speaking through an interpreter, said:

“Mr President, dear Nico, thank you for coming to Paris today. It is with great pleasure that I welcome you on your first visit to France after your success in the elections for which I congratulate you.

This working lunch will be an opportunity to work on various issues, European, bilateral and international, that will concern us for the coming months. Of course we will look at the situation in Ukraine, we share the same commitment as Europe for this support for the Ukrainians to improve their economic situation, for the general situation, of course. We are unanimously against this war that Russia started and continues to rage.

I am very happy about our joint determination against the circumvention of all sanctions imposed on Russia and with all European and international partners we will work from now on to rebuild Ukraine.

We will be together on the 1st of June in Chisinau, Moldova where the European family will meet in the context of the European Political Community Summit.
As during the first Summit last year in October, we will again have the opportunity to reaffirm our ambition for the stability of our European continent and to continue the effort to protect both in cyberspace and for our critical infrastructures.

Regarding the preparation of this Summit in Moldova it will be an opportunity to work on our big European stakes. Of course, we will pay attention to European infrastructure, in the field of Energy, Defense, Security and of course, after what was said in the previous Council, we will continue to work on all these issues. We will also continue to negotiate common solutions in Brussels on the Russia issue and I am fully aware of what this issue means for Cyprus.

We recently had the activation of this common mechanism of solidarity and in this spirit of appreciation and solidarity we will continue to act.

In addition to these, we will also discuss the regional situation in the Eastern Mediterranean and in particular the Cyprus issue. I know, dear Nico, your commitment to this cause, your will to find a sustainable solution and you can count on France’s undivided support on this issue both diplomatically and militarily, as always in the past when we had threats of escalation in the Eastern Mediterranean in military contexts.
Of course, let’s deepen our cooperation in educational, economic and defense matters. I am very happy about the excellent partnership we have and I believe we will be able to maintain this level of ambition.

I believe that we will manage to consolidate these excellent ties between us and continue like this for the future.”

For his part, Cypriot President Christodoulidis stated the following:

Macron to Cyprus: "You have our military support whenever you need it"

“I especially thank my friend President Emmanuel for the invitation to visit France. This is essentially my first visit to an EU member state after Athens and this in itself is proof of the excellent relations between the two countries, but also of the strategic importance of our bilateral relations.
I am sure that we will have a very productive discussion, a very meaningful discussion in which we will reaffirm our excellent cooperation, both bilaterally and multilaterally, including of course our common European family.
We will see today how we can further strengthen our bilateral cooperation, especially in areas such as energy, defense and security. Within the EU, France and Cyprus strongly support the further integration and strategic autonomy of the EU at all levels, and I believe that strengthening our relations on the issues I mentioned above serves precisely the EU’s goals as well.

We will also discuss how we can break the deadlock in the Cyprus issue and we believe that the EU should play a more leading role. We believe that the EU has those tools, the incentives, to lead us to a mutually beneficial state of affairs. And we are particularly invested in you, Mr. President, and in France, which is the only EU member state that is also a Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council, with particular sensitivities in the Eastern Mediterranean, and we look forward to your strong support, so so that we can break the impasse and resume the talks from where they left off.

We will certainly discuss Ukraine. The EU, France, Cyprus are on the right side of history, there can be no different positions except to strongly support the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine and we will continue to act and approach the issue in this frame.

We will also discuss the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the wider Middle East, where we have identical views and approaches and I believe that we should move through a common strategy.

In this context and the issue of immigration. The Republic of Cyprus continues to be the EU member state with the largest number of immigrants in proportion to population and we should, in a problem that is European and we need to find European solutions, strike a fair balance between responsibility and practical solidarity.
I want to thank the French President for the fact that during the French Presidency of the Council of the EU, about a year ago, important steps were taken on the issue of immigration.
Finally, for the second Summit of the European Political Community, which will be held in Moldova on June 1st, I will be there and I would like to congratulate you because it is, Mr. President, an initiative of yours that comes to face the many challenges we have today as the European continent.

Thank you again, Mr. President, dear Emanuel, for the invitation and I look forward to our discussion.”

Afterwards, the President of the Republic and the President of France, as well as the members of their delegations, attended a working lunch and then a private meeting was held between the two Presidents.

Turkey’s Interior Minister sees the elections as a new “coup attempt” by the West

Turkish Interior Minister sees the elections as a new
Photo by KLMircea

Turkey’s Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu, who is now running for a parliamentary seat from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP), referred to the upcoming elections as an “attempted political coup by the West”, reminiscent of the failed military coup of 2016, he said.

Speaking at an event in Istanbul, Soylu stressed that the events of July 15, 2016 were a real coup attempt by Western powers and the upcoming May 14 elections are a continuation of their efforts to destabilize Turkey.

According to Soylu, Western powers have been planning to “eliminate” Turkey for years and the failed military coup was just the beginning. He said US President Joe Biden had previously admitted that they could handle Turkey by such methods when all other efforts failed.

However, Soylu did not specify when Biden made these comments but Soylu has frequently accused the West of trying to overthrow Turkey’s government through a series of coup attempts, including the upcoming elections.

He also argues that Greece is a U.S. pawn that wants to attack Turkey to punish it for Turkish President Erdogan’s stance.

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F-35’s DAS System Will Give the Hellenic Air Force an Edge in Air Superiority

F-35's DAS System Will Give the Hellenic Air Force an Edge in Air Superiority - GEOPOLITIKI
Volkel, 30 juni 2022 Oprichting van het Air Combat Comand - DEFENSIE.NL

The F-35’s Distributed Aperture System (DAS) is a revolutionary technology that provides the pilot with 360-degree awareness of the operational environment through an array of sensors.

The DAS system basically “wraps” the aircraft, detecting incoming aircraft and threats, day and night, and allowing the pilot to take measures according to the operational situation.

The AN/AAQ-37, which consists of six electro-optical sensors, is the complete DAS available on the F-35.

The detection capabilities of the system were tested in military exercises in 2011, demonstrating its ability to detect and track ballistic missiles at ranges of more than 800 miles (1,300 km).

The system can also track many small sub-orbital missiles, making it a crucial tool in intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) operations.

With the recent entry of the F-35 into the Hellenic Air Force’s arsenal, it is now possible to conduct ISR operations over enemy continental structures with relative safety. This advanced technology also enables pinpoint attacks on enemy ground positions with long-range weapons.

Data transfer also takes place via the internal Data-Link, providing secure and efficient communication.

F-35's DAS System Will Give the Hellenic Air Force an Edge in Air Superiority
F-35 BEAST MODE (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Sgt. Samuel Ruiz)

The F-35 is also capable of carrying out air-to-air (A2A) strikes on targets that will not be aware of its presence, as demonstrated in US “Red-Flag” exercises.

The aircraft can also cooperate with other fighter jets, such as the F-16Vs and RAFALE F3R, through data link technologies, including Link16.

The RAFALE F3R’s powerful radar will provide additional support to the Greek F-35s, while the F-16s can leverage their current arsenal of AIM-120 C7s and future AIM-120D3s.

The entry of the F-35 into the Greek Armed Forces arsenal will bring air superiority one step closer

The entry of the F-35 into the Greek Armed Forces arsenal will bring air superiority one step closer
Photo by Alan Wilson

The ability to detect and track missiles at long ranges, as well as launch surprise air-to-air missile strikes on aerial targets, gives the Hellenic Air Force a significant advantage on the battlefield. As technology continues to advance, air superiority will play an even greater role in military operations.

The F-35’s DAS represents a major technological leap forward for the Hellenic Air Force, enabling improved ISR and target identification functions, as well as improved communication and cooperation with other combat aircraft.

In conclusion, the F-35’s DAS is a game-changing technology that provides the pilot with unmatched situational awareness and combat capabilities. Its impact will be felt in military operations for decades to come.

How will the entry of F-35 impact the Hellenic Air Force?

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