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Greece Boosts Ukraine’s Defense: More BMP-1 IFVs and Artillery Ammunition on the Way

Greek military authorities have revealed that their country is also providing trainers for Ukrainian Special Forces and tank operators as part of the extensive military assistance initiative led by the United States and its allies. In a joint statement with Reznikov, Greek Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos affirmed, “Our steadfast support for Ukraine will continue as long as necessary, a position we have maintained from the very start.”

Since the onset of the conflict in Ukraine, Greece has offered military support in the form of armored fighting vehicles, anti-tank weaponry, small arms, and ammunition. In October 2022, Greece delivered 40 BMP-1A1s as part of the ‘Ringtausch’ program in exchange for 40 Marder IFVs. In February 2022, Greece supplied 815 RPG-18s as part of its assistance with anti-tank weapons. Additionally, the country provided 20,000 Kalashnikov rifles to bolster Ukrainian forces.

Furthermore, Greece dispatched an undisclosed quantity of 122mm rocket artillery rounds for BM-21 and RM-70MRLs. The Greek government has also procured 155mm ammunition through the European Defense Agency, which is yet to be delivered. This military support from Greece aims to enhance the Ukrainian military’s capabilities in its ongoing conflict. The Hellenic Army received its initial batch of 501 BMP-1A1 Ost infantry fighting vehicles from Germany between 1993 and 1994.

These vehicles underwent upgrades to meet the standards of the Hellenic Army, including the installation of M2 Browning .50 caliber heavy machine guns and modifications to the gunner’s hatch. By 2006, the Hellenic Army had 377 active BMP-1A1 Ost IFVs. Generally, the Greek BMP-1s have retained the armament of the Soviet BMP-1, which includes a 73mm smoothbore gun capable of firing high-explosive fragmentation (HE-FRAG) rounds, as well as armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) rounds. A 7.62mm machine gun is mounted coaxially on the right side of the main gun.

In May 2022, it was announced that Greece would engage in a vehicle exchange program with Germany. As part of this program, Germany would transfer its stored Marder 1A3s to Greece in exchange for an equal number of BMP-1s from the Hellenic Army. These BMP-1s would be delivered to support Ukraine following the Russian invasion in 2022.

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