Israel inks $400 million sale of anti-tank missiles to Greece

European nation to purchase Spike missiles produced by state-run Rafael; Defense Minister Gallant says deal ‘emphasizes mutual commitment to ensuring regional stability’

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

A Spike anti-tank missile is seen launched, in a handout photo published April 9, 2023. (Rafael Advanced Systems)
A Spike anti-tank missile is seen launched, in a handout photo published April 9, 2023. (Rafael Advanced Systems)

Israel signed a defense deal with Greece to provide it with over $400 million worth of Spike anti-tank missiles, the Defense Ministry announced Monday.

“This project joins a series of agreements between the State of Israel and the Hellenic Republic, and further emphasizes the strong partnership between our countries and our defense establishments, as well as our mutual commitment to ensuring regional stability,” said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, in remarks provided by his office.

Eyal Zamir, director-general of Israel’s Defense Ministry, was on hand for the signing of the agreement with the director of defense procurement at the Hellenic defense ministry, Aristeidis Alexopulos.

“This agreement with the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense is yet another expression of the strategic partnership between Israel and Greece,” Zamir was quoted as saying in a statement.

Greece would pay 370 million euros (NIS 1.44 billion, USD $400 million) for the missiles made by Israeli state-run defense firm Rafael.

The Defense Ministry said Spike missiles are already in use by around 40 countries, including 19 European Union countries and NATO members. In the Israel Defense Forces, they are used under the name “Tammuz.”

More than 34,000 Spike missiles, from various models, have been delivered abroad, and over 6,000 have been fired, the ministry said.

According to Rafael, the missiles can be launched from around 45 different platforms, on land, in the air, and at sea.

A Spike anti-tank missile is seen launched, in a handout photo published April 9, 2023. (Rafael Advanced Systems)

The sixth generation of the missile, announced last year, was touted by the Israeli arms manufacturer as now having the capability to be launched in a salvo of up to four missiles, and an extended range of 50 kilometers (31 miles) when launched by helicopter.

Israeli arms sales in 2021 hit a record of $11.3 billion, with officials citing a sharp increase in demand for Israeli-made weapons.

According to an independent global security think tank, Israel was ranked the 10th-largest international weapons exporter in the past five years.

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