WASHINGTON: The Greek government has finalized a deal with the French shipbuilder Naval Group to purchase up to four frigates as well as associated support services, according to a company statement.
The contract, signed in Greece on Thursday, will provide the Hellenic Navy with at least three ships and an option for a fourth. The first two vessels will be delivered by 2025 and the third by 2026.
“Naval Group is proud, along with its French industrial partners Dassault, MBDA and Thales, to be a part of this new chapter in the strategic alliance between Greece and France,” said Naval Group chief Pierre Éric Pommellet, citing a September 2021 strategic partnership made between Greece and France. “Greece has chosen the latest generation of frigates that bring together the best of French naval know-how and will strengthen the capabilities of the Hellenic Navy.”
In accordance with the 🇬🇷🇫🇷 defence agreement signed last October, the Hellenic authorities have signed two contracts for the supply of 3⃣ Defence and Intervention Frigates (FDI HN), plus 1⃣ as an option, as well as their in-service support. ⚓️ pic.twitter.com/AkhFWpJ3Nd
— Naval Group (@navalgroup) March 24, 2022
The ship itself, according to a fact sheet provided by Naval Group, displaces 4,500 tons and is approximately 122 meters in length and 18 meters wide. It can be armed with 32 Aster missiles and eight Exocet missiles developed by European missile producer MBDA, a 76 mm gun, the anti-submarine torpedo MU90 and CANTO countermeasures.
“The FDI HN features high level capabilities in all warfare domains: anti-ship, anti-air, antisubmarine and special forces projection,” according to Naval Group. “Its air and surface defences are ensured by the most modern sensors, including the Thales Sea Fire, the first all-digital multifunction radar with an active antenna and fixed panels.”
Naval Group did not include a new cost estimate in its announcement this week but the deal has been previously valued at around $3.5 billion.
Lockheed Martin, which had competed in the Hellenic Navy’s original competition for the frigate program, has been eyeing sales to Greece since late last year, when the State Department cleared Greece to purchase a bevy of American-made vessels, weaponry and upgrades, despite the Greek government announcing its intention to proceed with Naval Group.
“The Hellenic naval modernization has a lot of parts to it,” Joe DePietro, an executive at Lockheed Martin, told Breaking Defense in January. “It had a frigate requirement. It had an upgrade to their Hydra class, which is a MEKO-based ship, a midlife upgrade, if you will, to those ships.”
Naval Group, Greece ink deal for three frigates, one optional add – Breaking Defense Breaking Defense is written by Justin Katz for breakingdefense.com