Defence Minister: Navy upgrading a strategic priority

The Cyprus navy is being upgraded as a strategic priority of the first phase of the plan for the restructuring and modernisation of the National Guard, Minister of Defence Christoforos Fokaides said on Wednesday, during a ceremony at the Evangelos Florakis Naval Base, in Mari, for the day of Saint Nicholas, patron saint of seamen.

Speaking at the Base, Fokaides said it was necessary to upgrade the navy and contribute to the creation of conditions of maritime and energy security and to address the new challenges and threats arising in the Middle East, in cooperation with friendly neighbouring countries.

Fokaides noted that in less than a month a new open sea ship from Israel will join the navy, adding that the Cypriot crew is currently being trained in the sophisticated high technology equipment of the vessel.

Furthermore, he said a decision will be taken soon for two more such ships, and that soon two speedboats will be added to the fleet for the needs of the Underwater Demolition Unit.

The Defence Minister also referred among others to the upgrading of the radar system, the recruitment of professional staff, the expansion of the naval base, and the facilities of the Zygi Naval Base and Paphos Airbase offered in the context of PESCO, noting that as the EU capability is enhanced, so is the security of Cyprus.

Source: Cyprus News Agency