Hellenic Air Force Fires S-300 Air Defense System for the first time

On Dec. 13, the Hellenic Air Force conducted the LIVEX “White Eagle” at the NATO Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI) in Crete, during which shots of the S-300PMU-1 air defence system were fired for the first time since it was bought 14 years earlier.

The S-300 is a Soviet (then Russian) long range SAM (Surface to Air Missile) developed to defend against aircraft and cruise missiles with variants developed to intercept ballistic missiles.

The S-300 PMU1 system was procured by Athens after the Cyprus Missile Crisis and deployed on Crete island where 2 Batteries consisting of 12 launchers (96 missiles) are operated.

The Minister of National Defence Dimitris Avramopoulos, the Minister of Defence of the Republic of Cyprus Fotis Fotiou and several foreign military attachés in Greece attended the exercise.

H/T to Strategy Reports for the link to the video.


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About David Cenciotti
David Cenciotti is a journalist based in Rome, Italy. He is the Founder and Editor of “The Aviationist”, one of the world’s most famous and read military aviation blogs. Since 1996, he has written for major worldwide magazines, including Air Forces Monthly, Combat Aircraft, and many others, covering aviation, defense, war, industry, intelligence, crime and cyberwar. He has reported from the U.S., Europe, Australia and Syria, and flown several combat planes with different air forces. He is a former 2nd Lt. of the Italian Air Force, a private pilot and a graduate in Computer Engineering. He has written five books and contributed to many more ones.


  1. What was the purpose of this exercise? Training, testing, or getting some more performance figures about the S-300?

    • The system was initially purchased by Cyprus (January 4, 1997), some radar systems delivered in 1998 and the whole air-defence system was transferred to the Greek island of Crete (March 1999). The Republic of Cyprus transferred formally the ownership of the S-300 missiles in 2007, in exchange for SHORADs TOR-M1 and SUZANA Self-propelled Gun Howitzers bought from Greece. A group of Russian technicians inspected and and certified all major system components (2011-2012) and Hellenic Armed Forces resolved all security issues (self-destruction parameters) and tested a Russian-made air defence system on a NATO Missile Firing Installation (NAMFI) on Crete.

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