Cyprus to Replace Russian Weapons With Modern, Western Equipment

Cyprus is embarking on a five-year military modernization drive to replace its Russian-made weapon systems with modern equipment from the West.

The nation had been under an arms embargo by Western countries since the 1960s, resulting in heavy reliance on Moscow-manufactured military weapons and equipment.

However, the US recently lifted the arms embargo on Nicosia, affirming that it could purchase US-made weapons for its armed forces.

According to Cyprus National Guard Chief Demokritos Zervakis, the decision to decommission Russian arms systems was fueled by the ongoing war in Ukraine.

He said maintaining the equipment has been difficult because of the sanctions imposed on Moscow.

Modernization Underway

As part of the modernization, the Cypriot government announced that it has placed an order for a dozen H145M-type light attack and transport helicopters from Airbus.

They will replace their current Russian choppers operated by the National Guard.

The country’s defense ministry also approved the purchase of an Israeli-made Iron Dome air defense system to counter the threat of Turkish drones.

According to a Kathimerini report, the deal only includes an anti-drone defense that works with Nicosia’s Russian-made Tor-M1 and Buk-M1 air defense systems.

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