EBO (Standing for 'Elliniki Biomihania Oplon', or 'Hellenic Arms Industry') has been the main arms manufacturer of Greece. Its creation is linked to a desire of Greek governments for "complete self-sufficiency" of Greece in the areas of personal and other weapons (in contrast to past experience when local manufacture could only partially cover the needs of the Greek Armed Forces). A proposal by a big Greek Chemical company, Chropei of Peiraeus, in 1974 for the adoption and production of a series of its own "Greek-designed" (apparently, largely based on Czechoslovak models) rifles and other weapons, was rejected after testing as not up to desired standards. Similarly, the Greek state did not support Pyrkal which was already producing the FN FAL rifle under license. Subsequently, EBO was founded by the state in Aigion in 1976, after an agreement to initially produce under licence Heckler and Koch models adopted by the Greek Army, but with the intent to also design arms of its own. During its foundation ceremony, a Greek pistol of the 1820s (used in the Greek revolution) was placed on the foundation stone to represent the continuity of Greece's Arms making craft.
Since that time, the company has grown significantly acquiring other companies, and has produced in its several factories hundreds of thousands of rifles (military and civilian) and machine guns, as well as pistols, mortars, ammunition&expolsives, rocket launchers, landmines, grenades, anti-aircraft weapons, various types of bombs, cannons, night vision equipment, aircraft metal parts, as well as specialized machinery, tools, uniforms, body armor vests and reinforced composite/plastics. Many of the above are of EBO's own development (and have included novel systems like the Artemis 30 Anti-Aircraft System and the Aris IV Anti-Tank Rocket). The company has also been a major and well-known exporter of weapons. However, its financial state has been shaky almost since its early steps, undoubtedly in connection to its state ownership. In 2004 it merged with Pyrkal forming EAS, in an effort of the Greek state to better control and regulate this sector of the nation's Defence Industry.
- http://www.eas.gr (link to EBO)
- http://www.ellinikos-stratos.com/arthra/elviomixania4.asp EBO (in greek)
Medieval Greece / Byzantine Empire
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