Greek Navy lacks options to strengthen surface component

For several years, the Greek authorities have consulted widely around the world with the aim of acquiring second-hand frigates, in order to strengthen the surface component of its combat navy. Unfortunately, all the avenues considered so far appear to be dead ends, and Athens now lacks an option to cope. to Turkish military strengthening constituting the main threat to its territorial integrity in the Aegean Sea.

Between 2010 and 2013, the budget devoted to the Hellenic Armed Forces was halved, from almost € 2bn to just over € 8bn, while at the same time, that of Turkey increased from $ 4bn to more than $ 10 billion, to exceed $ 15 billion today. In fact, while the modernization and even the maintenance of the equipment in service in the Greek armies was reduced to a minimum, and sometimes even suspended, the Turkish armed forces benefited from additional funds allowing in-depth reform and extensive modernization. This is the main reason which hampered the program of acquisition of French FREMM frigates desired by Athens and the Hellenic Navy to strengthen its naval component, a program which was transformed 20 years ago to focus on the acquisition of 2 + 2 FDI Defense and Intervention Frigates, more economical, with France.

The Franco-Greek FDI will be equipped with 32 vertical silos implementing 24 anti-aircraft missiles Aster 15 and Aster 30, and 8 cruise missiles MdCN.

But to cover the very many Greek islands in the Aegean Sea constituting so many potential targets for the Turkish forces, and to neutralize the air power of Ankara numerically superior to that of Athens, the Hellenic Navy needs more ships with, in particular , a significant anti-aircraft defense capability. Many options were studied, from Australia, Germany, and more recently the United States. However, some imagined assemblies were bordering on the bizarre, such as the acquisition of used Ticonderoga cruisers or of A. Burke destroyers to the US Navy, knowing that the latter has no intention of parting with the latter, and that the former have disproportionate maintenance and implementation costs for Greek resources. The cases of the two anti-aircraft frigates of the Cassard class and two light stealth frigates of the Lafayette class were also considered, but quite logically rejected by Athens, the Cassards being out of breath, and the Lafayette having anti-aircraft capabilities. and very limited anti-submarines.

[Armelse]

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