Paramount and Greece partner on N-Raven loitering munition production

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Greek state-owned company Hellenic Defence Systems is partnering with global aerospace and technology company Paramount to produce the N-Raven long range loitering munition as the Irix.

The partnership was made public at DEFEA (Defence Exhibition Athens) 2023 this week.

The loitering munition system is called Irix after the word used by Greek poet Homer to describe hawks, and is poised to make history as the first loitering munition produced in Greece, Paramount said in a statement.

The agreement provides for the manufacture of internationally competitive long range loitering munitions in Greece, for the Greek market as well as export to international customers.

Leading Greek state-owned company, Hellenic Defence Systems (EAS), is a strategic partner to some of the largest companies in the international defence industry, with a 140 year-strong tradition of designing, developing, manufacturing and supplying the Hellenic Armed Forces with NATO-type defence systems. The Hellenic Ministry of Finance is the main shareholder and the company is supervised by the Ministry of National Defence.

Nikolaos Kostopoulos, EAS Chief Executive Officer said, “We are excited to be going into production – in Greece – with one of the world’s most advanced long range loitering munitions. In Paramount we found an ideal strategic partner, recognised as a pioneer in loitering munitions”.

“EAS and Paramount jointly developed an innovative and advanced product, specifically for the Greek market, called Irix. This is a lighthouse project for the redevelopment and enhancement of the Greek defence industry, which we are immensely proud of.”

IRIX is based on Paramount’s N-Raven unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology. The N-Raven is digitally designed with quick technology transfer in mind to enable government manufacture of loitering munitions technologies in own countries.

The partnership includes technology and skills transfer for local co-production of Irix as well as EAS’ ongoing participation in continued research and development (R&D) of future Irix system upgrades.

Commenting on the venture, Steve Griessel, Paramount Global Chief Executive said: “We are privileged to be one of EAS’s global partners of choice, leveraging decades of unmanned aerial innovation and portable production expertise to jointly develop and produce Irix in Greece. At Paramount we believe true partnerships and innovation mean we design and produce technologically advanced, affordable and customisable solutions with our partners.”

The companies also announced involvement of other Greek companies in the supply chain for production of the system will be encouraged. This will see greater participation of and autonomy for the Greek defence industry.

IRIX, according to Paramount, is a robust yet cost effective unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) and loitering munition system, designed to strengthen armed forces’ aerial reconnaissance, engagement and precision strike proficiencies, addressing modern requirements for asymmetrical and symmetrical warfare operational capability. The platform offers operational commanders real time actionable intelligence and from it, an ability to strike high-value targets deep in enemy territory or deny enemy use of operationally essential terrain.

Paramount Industries Greece Chief Executive George Kyriakos said: “The role of loitering munitions on the modern battlefield has steadily increased, as seen in recent conflicts all around the world. The socio-economic ramifications made ensuring security of supply of any nation’s defence technologies and capabilities a prerequisite to stability and growth”.

“The partnership between Paramount Industries Greece and Hellenic Defence Systems will provide a powerful solution to the growing need for advanced and precise loitering munitions, enhancing Greek as well as NATO and European defence capabilities. Importantly, it will boost our local industry creating high tech opportunities and skilled jobs in the local market,” according to Kyriakos.