The era of large traditional expensive systems, whether they are surface ships, fighter jets or fighter helicopters and tanks, is leading to its culmination, because the cost has increased dramatically, emphasizes the Associate Professor of Geopolitics at the Military School of Evelpidon G. , emphasizing that “even countries like the United States are changing methodologies and trying to move towards more economical methods of power projection that emphasize network-based structures and sophisticated missiles and robotic systems.”
“These methodologies and technologies are as if they were created to order by countries, such as Greece and the Republic of Cyprus,” Mr. Grivas said in an interview, noting that “these systems can be largely created with his own materials.” trade “, but even if this cannot be done,” Greece and Cyprus have access to the technologies required for these systems “.
“It is now a decision if you want to strengthen your defensive deterrent capabilities,” he points out.
At the same time, Mr. Grivas, who also teaches Security Geography in the wider Middle East at the Department of Turkish and Contemporary Asian Studies, University of Athens, stresses that artillery can even be used as a substitute for regular aviation in areas of limited geographical space. is the Republic of Cyprus, while it also refers to the creation of a kind of “dam around the mainland, really achieving a naval dominance”, but also to the construction of unmanned submarines, low cost.
It refers to artillery systems that act as anti-ship weapons, with a combination of smart precision missiles and self-direction capabilities, which function as a kind of regular air force substitutes, while another important part of all, as he notes, is the combination of similar systems with means of protection. may be low-tech, such as the infamous primitive infrastructure, ie tunnel networks.
“Combining artillery systems with similar primitive infrastructure on the territory of Cyprus – which is very easy to build – could deactivate the advantage of enemy air power,” said Mr Grivas, who also referred to the development of “suicidal” unmanned aerial vehicles. , robotic systems which is a hybrid between a robotic aircraft (drones) and a missile, as he explains.
This military revolution, according to Mr. Grivas, “which is generally based on a kind of 'bombed' artillery, a kind of augmented artillery that now includes robotic missiles, network-based structures and the great use of such new technologies (robotic systems and artificial intelligence) but also of old and tried methodologies (primitive infrastructures) can allow the really great strengthening of deterrent and defense capabilities of countries such as the Republic of Cyprus, at low cost and with a positive sign on the economic issue, as they can to use domestic companies, especially start-ups, targeting high technology (case of Israel) “.
He says all of this “can also strengthen so-called defense diplomacy through direct cooperation with countries such as Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which are also important and looking for partners”. He notes that “even better would be a joint effort that includes cooperation between the Greek state and the Republic of Cyprus.”
More specifically, in his interview with KYPE, Mr. Grivas said that “there is a global trend for the development of systems to replace the traditional methods of projecting power that emphasize the missile” and “in recent years a military revolution is underway through a mutation of military power “, which concerns” the synthesis of many sub-factors based on the conflict of the navy with the land power that takes place between countries such as China and the USA or Russia and the USA “. He noted that another factor promoting the revolution was “the introduction of robotics and artificial intelligence into military technology.”
A common denominator of all this, according to Mr. Grivas, is that “we are now trying to develop lower cost systems than in the past, as traditional platforms have become very expensive”.
“So we see that fighter jets or warships or tanks are becoming faster and faster so that very rich countries, such as Japan or South Korea, can buy more limited numbers and move to another. direction, “he said, adding that” a common element of these efforts is to shift the center of gravity from the platform to the projectile. “
“So there is a global trend to develop systems to replace missile-focused traditional power projection methods,” he said, citing the development of “suicidal” unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), a hybrid between drones. and missile.
Noting that they were widely used in Nagorno-Karabakh or Syria, Mr. Grivas said that even low-tech actors, such as ISIS, had previously gained local air supremacy or sovereignty in Iraq, according to in the words of the then director of the US Special Forces Interdisciplinary Command, using such commercially available drone systems, that is, they had bought them commercially and converted them into airborne explosive devices.
He also said that similar choices are being made by other subversive actors such as the Houthis in Yemen.
Increase artillery capabilities
In addition, Mr. Grivas said that “we have a very large increase in artillery capabilities that can be used even as a substitute for regular aviation in areas of limited geographical size, such as the Republic of Cyprus.”
In particular, he said that this is what Israel is using its artillery as a complement to aviation, this is what big countries like China, Russia and now the US are doing, and this, as he explained, “because we have a very large increase in range, the accuracy of the blow, the destructive effects and the variety of effects that multiple artillery systems can have “.
“When we have multiple rocket launchers that accurately hit targets at 250-400 kilometers, while the US promotes systems that exceed 600 to 800 kilometers, you essentially do not need a fighter jet to do the job for you, which you do much more easily and “dramatically cheaper with artillery,” he stressed.
He also said that there are possibilities called cross-domain fires, ie systems either artillery or other, which with built-in artificial intelligence algorithms, can only identify targets, noting that they can be either land or sea .
He also mentioned that there are artillery systems that act as anti-ship weapons, while he noted that in the international market there are 155 mm artillery shells which have a rifle (engine) which allows them to achieve a frighteningly long range of more than 100 km.
Combined, he said, with smart precision-guided missiles or self-targeting capabilities, small countries can develop similar capabilities, a type of regular air force substitute that is very satisfactory.
Another part, he continued, is the combination of similar systems with means of protection that may be low-tech, such as the infamous primitive infrastructure, ie tunnel networks, such as the famous Hamas metro.
In particular, the Professor of the Military School of Guards said that similar systems are used by Sweden and Switzerland, in addition to China, Iran and North Korea, for which “is part of its strategy.”
“All of this is part of this so-called new military revolution that puts a lot of emphasis on reducing costs and replacing expensive platforms with much cheaper systems that are a mix of traditional weapons (artillery with improved missiles) combined with a new type. systems such as robotic technologies, autonomous robotic systems (unmanned aerial vehicles), armed or this hybrid between robotic aircraft and missiles which are the so-called orbiting ammunition “, he underlined.
Mr. Grivas said in an interview with KYPE that because it is difficult based on its financial data, the Republic of Cyprus has large surface ships, “there are asymmetric methods of projecting power at sea, such as underwater systems, or conventionally manned submarines, small in size and relatively low cost (mini high-capacity submarines) “, adding that” the development of these submarines is favored by new technologies such as lithium-ion batteries that are placed in submarines and which dramatically increase the time they can remain in the dive “.
He said there was a plan by Thailand to develop such a submarine, which would cost between $ 50 and $ 100 million each, and noted that there were lower-capacity manned submarines at a cost of less than $ 10 million each. .
However, the Professor said that there are very long-range torpedoes that exceed 150 kilometers and a submarine with such torpedoes, which have artificial intelligence algorithms to be able to separate targets on their own and others, are very dangerous combinations.
At this point he cited as an example the capture of a small submarine that the Colombian cartel had built with commercial materials and cost $ 1.5 million to carry 6 tons of cocaine, with an autonomy of 12 hours, emphasizing on this basis Greece and Cyprus, either on their own or with technical assistance from abroad, can build much more advanced vessels at a cost of less than $ 10 million and equipped with new technology systems, such as new generation torpedoes, long range, high autonomy goals and more “.
“And to create a kind of barrier around the mainland, really achieving a naval dominance without being endangered by the action of the enemy air force or without being in great danger,” he said.
He added that “this can be combined with robotic systems such as UUB unmanned submarines. It is an important part of this so-called new military revolution that is low cost and can be built with commercial materials, to a large extent, both in Greece and in Cyprus “and” to develop with more advanced systems in cooperation with foreign companies “.
He also mentioned that there are surface or ground robotic vessels and noted that “Turkey has developed armed unmanned speedboats, following the logic of the artillery that we had in 1821”.
The Professor of the Military School of Guards of Greece referred to the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, which recently presented the 370 new acquisitions of speedboats, robotic and manned, as well as British-made very fast speedboats that reach 90 knots or more. which, he said, he copied and constructed in large numbers and which “attack in a chaotic manner and from many directions to saturate the enemy defenses and pose a kind of asymmetric threat to major naval powers such as the United States.”
He also said that Iran uses very small, low-tech and low-cost submarines with a small number of crews that have torpedoes and launch cruise missiles.
“Such systems are convinced that they can be developed much more easily and be of much better quality, in Greece and the Republic of Cyprus, either alone or in cooperation with foreign companies,” he stressed.
Finally, Mr. Grivas described the purchase by Cyprus of Serbian self-propelled guns Nora B-52 as “a lot of market and in the right direction”, while noting that the fact that they are currently being evaluated by the US military with good prospects, something shows.
He also referred to Serbian, Polish, Belarusian, Chinese and Brazilian multi-launcher missile systems with very low cost that can hit targets such as the S400, doing aviation work in small spaces, while he made special reference to the Serbian-led AL have even bought the United Arab Emirates, which has money for more expensive equipment, and which “enables the pilot to see what the rocket sees and direct it to its terminal phase with a precision of centimeters”, among others, armored vehicles, combat helicopters, self-propelled guns, moving radars and surface ships.
Finally, when asked if Cyprus should be interested in the French Mirage aircraft that will be replaced by Greece, Mr. Grivas said that this “would be a very good idea”.