Israel said it will lease drones to Greece to defend its borders, in the first military deal between the two countries which includes an option to buy the system.
The Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the agreement with the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense was signed digitally due to the coronavirus crisis.
Under the deal, the Defense Ministry will lease the Heron unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) system, made by state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries for three years.
The Heron system, which is used by the IDF and in naval forces around the world, is equipped with both day and night activity platforms, maritime patrol radars, and satellite communications.
It will be used by Greece primarily for border defense, the Israeli ministry said in a statement, adding that security relations between Israel and Greece were expanding.
The Israeli made system will help protect Greece's borders by initiating in maritime patrol and marine and land border protection, preventing the transport of contraband and human trafficking, embarking on search and rescue missions, and managing natural disasters.
According to Greek media, the two drones will be used to bolster the country’s intelligence-gathering abilities and will act as a deterrent to Turkey, which has deployed drones to the Evros region and the Aegean Sea that borders the two countries.
"We hope to sign additional agreements with Greece as well as other European partners, assisting them in addressing security challenges in times of the coronavirus pandemic and beyond," head of International Defense Cooperation Directorate Yair Kulas said.