ATHENS ø Greece will deploy a range of anti-aircraft assets to
protect against Al Qaida air threats during the Olympic Games later this year.
Officials said the Hellenic Army and Air Force have coordinated forces
to form a network of surface-to-air missile systems to protect Olympic
Village as well as vital facilities throughout Greece. They said the
anti-aircraft umbrella has been configured to defend against unmanned
aircraft vehicles, motorized handgliders and other airborne threats.
The anti-aircraft missile umbrella has been comprised of a range of
mostly U.S.-origin systems. They included the PAC-2 missile defense system.
Greek Defense Minister Spilios Spiliotopoulos has asked NATO for air and
naval assets to help protect the Olympic Games, Middle East Newsline reported. Spiliotopoulos said they
would include the deployment of airborne early-warning and control aircraft,
NATO's naval force in the Mediterranean and the "use of certain high
technology systems which NATO has but which Greece does not have."
The PAC-2 was deemed as the leading asset in the anti-aircraft umbrella and
its radar was expected to detect and track a variety of short-range threats.
The PAC-2 will be bolstered by other U.S. systems. They include the
improved Hawk anti-aircraft missile and the Stinger man-portable
Officials said the PAC-2, Hawk and Stinger systems have been linked to a
command and control facility that can both detect and track air threats and
coordinate a response. They said the systems will protect such regions as
Attiki, Evia and Viotia.
The anti-aircraft umbrella will be bolstered by constant patrols by
fighter-jets in the Hellenic Air Force. Officials said the air force plans
to deploy the U.S.-origin F-16 as well as the French-origin Mirage 2000.
Other aircraft assets will be the U.S.-origin T-6A Texan-2, a single-engine
turboprop. Some of the assets will contain radar as well as aircraft
early-warning and controls systems.