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Greek Navy successfully conducts large-scale missile exercise.

According to information published by Hellas Journal on July 2, 2024, the Greek Navy executed a comprehensive missile exercise, featuring Harpoon and Exocet Block II missiles.
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Harpoon missile launched from an Hellenic Navy ship. (Picture source: Greek MoD)

Despite long-standing challenges, the Greek Navy is sending a clear message of readiness and capability through this missile exercise. The Harpoon missile launches, originally planned years ago, were postponed multiple times for reasons unrelated to the Navy. This week’s successful exercise marks a significant milestone, as the last Harpoon missile launch occurred 25 years ago.

Harpoon missiles, equipped with 220-kilogram high-explosive warheads, are designed to navigate obstacles using the sea-skimming method, targeting at a speed of 0.7 Mach. These missiles, with a range of 80 nautical miles, deliver devastating damage upon impact.

In addition to Harpoons, the Vosper-class missile boats will also launch Exocet Block II missiles. While the newer Exocet Block IIIc missiles boast advanced capabilities, the decision was made to use the older Block II variants. These French-made missiles travel just two meters above sea level, making them difficult to detect and enhancing their surprise attack capability. The Block II missiles have a range of approximately 70 kilometers and carry a 165-kilogram warhead.

Hellenic Navy

The Hellenic Navy's operational significance is deeply rooted in Greece's strategic geopolitical position in the Eastern Mediterranean. This region is a crucial junction for international trade routes and energy corridors.

Greece's geographical location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa places it in a prime position to influence and safeguard these vital maritime routes. This strategic advantage, however, also exposes Greece to various regional instabilities, including conflicts in the Middle East, North Africa, and tensions with neighboring Turkey​.

To maintain its geopolitical influence and protect its national interests, Greece has embarked on significant modernization efforts for its naval forces. The Hellenic Navy is undergoing an extensive upgrade of its fleet, including the acquisition of advanced FDI frigates and the modernization of existing Hydra-class and MEKO 200 frigates​.

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