Greece and Turkey join European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI)

By Defence Industry Europe

Greece and Turkey have officially joined the German-led European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI), increasing the total number of participating countries to 21.

 

The formal inclusion of Greece and Turkey into the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) was marked by the signing of a letter of intent by Greek Defence Minister Nikos Dendias and his Turkish counterpart, Yaşar Güler, on the margins of a NATO defence ministers’ meeting in Brussels on February 14-15.

German Defence Minister Boris Pistorius highlighted the unity among the 21 European nations now committed to the initiative, including Germany’s acquisition of the Diehl IRIS-T SLM surface-launched, medium-range air defence system, with the first deliveries expected next year. The initiative seeks to leverage common procurement strategies to achieve cost efficiencies and strengthen air defence capabilities across Europe.

 

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The next phase of the European Sky Shield Initiative (ESSI) involves collaborative training and operational efforts among member countries, along with the creation of user communities for the various defence systems being acquired.

Both Dendias and Güler emphasized the initiative’s role in enhancing integrated air and missile defence capabilities, fostering innovation, and promoting cooperation among European defence ecosystems. Turkey, in particular, plans to offer its domestically developed air defence solutions as part of its contribution to the initiative.

 

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