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Cyprus

National Guard to modernise weapons systems

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The National Guard will be equipped with new weapons systems like drones to be able to deal with asymmetric threats, Defence Minister Charalambos Petrides said on Tuesday.

Petrides said the ministry was realising existing contracts and striking new agreements for weapons systems like unmanned ariel vehicles, modern air defence and anti-tank systems, and the procurement of helicopters.

The minister was addressing a news conference during which he analysed the ministry’s strategy, starting from bolstering the National Guard’s operational capability.

Petrides said it involved maximising the potential of existing weapons systems in conjunction with the procurement of high-tech equipment that will improve the National Guard’s ability as a deterrent.

He said the ministry was focusing on procurements that significantly upgraded the army’s capabilities using fewer personnel at the same time.

Programmes to boost the army’s intelligence gathering capability are also underway, he said.

More than 10,500 reservists have also joined the ranks for the first time, after some 16,000 people were tracked down whose whereabouts were unknown after their discharge.

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