On May 31, several Greek platforms belonging to the three services (Air Force, Army, Navy) were involved in a live firing activity against a target ship located inside a shooting range near Crete, in the Aegean Sea.
Dubbed, “Thalassios Gripas 1/12” (“Sea Griffin” in English), the exercise started with the Fast Attack Craft Missile (FAC) Laskos firing one MM-38 Exocet anti-ship missile that was successfully intercepted approximately 1 mile from the target ship by a surface-to-air Sea Sparrow missile launched by the Frigate Kountouriotis.
Then, two Mirage 2000EGMs of the 332 Mira (Squadron) fired the first ever AM-39 Exocet Block II at the decommissioned gunboat, that was later attacked by two AH-64D Longbow Apache helicopters that fired salvo of AGM-114K1 Hellfire missiles in what was the first maritime attack to a floating target by the new Army Aviation choppers.
The “missile storm” ended with two Penguin passive-IR seeker based short-to-medium range naval guided missile shots from FAC Xenos and gun shots from the Kountouriotis and FAC Degiannis.
Shooting missiles against a real (although decommissioned) target can be important to validate tactics and weapon systems and this is the reason why, usually, large live firing exercises (attended by many civil and military authorities) are not considered a waste of taxpayers’ money. Not even for a nation on the verge of financial collapse like Greece.
H/T to Ioanna Iliadi for the heads-up
- 40-year old Falklands, Iraq, Libya veteran Sea Dart missile makes its last firing (theaviationist.com)