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Greece to Buy 2 FTI frigates from France
October 11, 2019

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FTI multi-mission frigate (image: Naval Group)

France has signed an agreement with Greece on the latter’s purchase of FTI multi-mission frigates (Frégates de taille intermédiaire, or Belharra), Florence Parly, defense minister of France, announced Friday.
“France has signed a letter of intent with Greece on its purchase of two frigates of defense and intervention (FDI),” Parly announced on her twitter account.

The frigates in question are Naval Group-manufactured FTIs featuring an inverted bow design with a length of 122 meters and a displacement of about 4,250 tons. Each of these vessels cost about €750 million ($824 million).

In an interview with Greek newspaper last month, Nikos Panagiotopoulos, Greek Defense Minister, had stated that talks with Paris were still in "very early stages” and the only sure thing is that “France wants to sell and Greece wants to buy the frigates.”

Following the deal signed for two frigates, Greece would have an option for additional 2 vessels. The Hellenic Navy ships would be built as series production right after the first ship for the French Navy is completed.

The government-to-government deal, with no competitors from foreign countries is said to be a case of “French- FMS” (similar to the US foreign military sales program).

Greek Navy will reportedly be allowed to join the French FTI program if the deal fructifies, similar to CAMO program where the Belgian Army joined a French Army program for armored combat vehicles once a corresponding contract was signed.

Today’s deal is in line with the French government’s recent push for increased cooperation with Greece in the Eastern Mediterranean region. French
President Emmanuel Macron recently told former Greek Prime Minister that he was ready to send frigates to patrol in the Eastern Mediterranean where Cyprus has large gas fields in its EEZ and where Turkey has commenced drilling with a naval ship in tow.​

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FTI multi-mission frigate (image: Naval Group)

In addition, Parly also announced that the French navy will begin receiving first of its FTI frigates in 2023. Naval Group was awarded a contract to build five FDI frigates for the French Navy in 2017.

The medium-sized "digital warship" comes equipped with Thales SeaFire AESA radar. The boats can be deployed in missions such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-aircraft warfare, patrol, maritime security, control of exclusive economic zone (EEZ), asymmetric warfare, and special forces activities.
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French Defence Minister Florence Parly with her Greek counterpart Nikos Panagiotopoulos

The warship is fitted with the latest-generation fixed-panel AESA radar system integrated in a Panoramic Surveillance Intelligence Module (PSIM), a complete sonar suite, long- and medium-range anti-air missiles and a comprehensive electronic warfare suite.
 

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Did not know Greece is operating Russian made helicopters. Why did not they go for the Apache instead at a price of NATO. It would be easier to link with other NATO systems.
 

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Did not know Greece is operating Russian made helicopters. Why did not they go for the Apache instead at a price of NATO. It would be easier to link with other NATO systems.
Greece does operate Apaches, it's Cyprus who operates the Hinds. the main reason the Cypriots operate the Hinds, is because US/Germany and a few other NATO countries had a weapon embargoment against Greek Cyprus. so nowadays, the embargoment is being removed or have been and been inducting newer systems, the US is suppose to start exporting more advanced weapons/equipment to Cyprus
 

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Hellenic Navy orders 11 VIKING METIS RIBs

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Danish VIKING Life-Saving Equipment has won an order for eleven METIS rigid inflatable boats (RIBs) RIBs from the Hellenic Navy.

This is the second deal the company’s Greek branch VIKING Norsafe Life-Saving Equipment Hellas S.A. has secured to supply the craft type to the Greek naval force.

The new RIBs, which will be deployed predominantly to support search and rescue operations on delivery over the summer of 2020, will replace craft currently used on board larger vessels in the Helenic Navy’s fleet, including its ΜΕΚΟ-type frigates.

“I would like to congratulate our team for their dedication and hard work in putting together this successful tender,” said John Georgiadis Managing Director, VIKING Norsafe Life-Saving Equipment Hellas.

“We were up against some very tough and well-established competitors but were able to meet and even exceed some very specific requirements from the client.”

The contract win followed an earlier successful commissioning of a pair of VIKING Norsafe METIS 600 units serving from the Helenic Navy’s new Fast Missile Launch Crafts (Roussen Class), Georgiadis added.

The VIKING Norsafe METIS RIB, which is robust enough to sustain top speeds of at least 30 knots, even fully loaded, comes with state-of-the-art navigation instruments. At between 6m and 7m in length, six of the latest RIBs will be fitted with a single outboard engine, with the other five featuring twin outboards.

All 11 will be built at VIKING’s facility in Thiva, Greece, with the supplier also taking full responsibility for RIB technical support and maintenance.
 

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Greece orders 18 Rafale fighters

16 Sept 2020

Greece plans to obtain 18 Dassault Rafale fighters and upgrade 10 of its Mirage 2000s.

“I am delighted with this announcement, which reinforces the exceptional relationship we have had with Greece for nearly half a century, and I thank the Greek authorities for their confidence in us once again,” says Eric Trappier, chairman and chief executive of Dassault Aviation.

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Source: Dassault Aviation
Athens will obtain 18 Rafales


“Dassault Aviation is fully mobilised to meet the operational needs expressed by the Greek air force, and thus contribute to ensuring Greece’s sovereignty and the safety of the Greek people.”

In addition to the acquisition of 18 Rafales, 10 Mirage 2000s will be upgraded to the Mirage 2000-5 standard. Dassault notes that Athens ordered 40 Mirage 2000s in 1985, and 15 Mirage 2000-5s in 2000.

Media reports suggest the deal is part of a larger package with France that includes four frigates.

Cirium fleets data indicates that the Hellenic air force operates 187 combat aircraft.

Of these, 40 are Mirage 2000s serving in the air-defence role, including 24 in the -5 version. The average age of the Mirage 2000 fleet is 24.3 years.

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Greece operates 40 Mirage 2000s

The backbone of the Greek air force are 114 Lockheed Martin F-16C/Ds, with an average age of 20.8 years. It also has 33 McDonnell Douglas F-4E Phantoms, with an average age of 44.8 years.

Greece is upgrading 82-84 of its F-16s to the F-16V standard. This will see the jets receive an active electronically scanned array radar in the form of the Northrop Grumman APG-83, which offers a number of improvements including greater detection and tracking ranges, interleaved air-to-air and air-to-surface modes, and improved electronic protection.

Other improvements include a new centre pedestal display, a digital video and high-speed data bus, and the ability carry more advanced weapons.

In April 2019, Greek defence minister Evangelos Apostolakis said the country was considering the acquisition of up to 30 Lockheed F-35s to replace the air force’s oldest F-16s.
 

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Greece announces procurement plan

15 September 2020
by Euthymius Petrou


Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis on 9 September outlined his country’s defence procurement priorities over the coming years, including fighter aircraft, warships, and advanced weapons.

He announced that the Hellenic Air Force (HAF) will acquire a squadron of 18 Rafale fighter aircraft to replace older Mirage 2000s. Together with modernised F-16Vs, they will form a fleet for air operations.

The Hellenic Navy will launch the procedure to acquire four multipurpose frigates, while the four MEKO 200HN frigates in service will be upgraded.

The armed forces’ arsenal will be improved with anti-armour weapons for the army, heavyweight torpedoes for the navy, and guided weapons for the HAF. There will also be investments in information security against cyber attack.

Mitsotakis also announced the recruitment of 15,000 professional soldiers, both men and women, and an increase in the time conscripts serve to at least 12 months for all three armed services.
National service is currently nine months for the army and 12 months for the navy and HAF.

Regarding the defence industry, Mitsotakis said, “American investors are interested in Elefsis Shipyards. Soon a strategic investor will take over Skaramangas Shipyards. The privatisation Hellenic Vehicle Industries (ELVO SA) is about to be concluded. Hellenic Aerospace Industries (HAI) is being reorganised to become a centre for aircraft maintenance and repairs.”
 
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