The Hellenic Navy suffers from a cruel shortage of frigates and heavy corvettes to be able to cope with the planned rise of the Turkish Navy, in a theater as complex as the Aegean Sea. This is the reason why, despite its limited budgetary capacities, Athens has been seeking, for several years, to acquire new vessels, whether new or second-hand. A month ago, the Greek and Israeli authorities announced the creation of a joint venture to build the new class of Themistocles corvettes, based on the Sa'ar 72 model, from the Israeli group Israel Shipyards. But these 800 ton ships, if they meet the anti-surface warfare needs of the Hellenic Navy, have no anti-submarine or anti-aircraft capability beyond self-defense. It is therefore essential for Athens to strengthen its fleet in these two areas, requiring larger vessels, and therefore more expensive.
The Greek and French authorities have been negotiating for several years on this subject, initially around the FREMM frigates, then the FDI model. Greece had even signed a letter of intent to this effect, and the final configuration retained offered significant capacities both in anti-aircraft warfare with 24 Aster 30 missiles, anti-submarine warfare with the CAPTAS sonar suite, and force projection, with 8 MdCN cruise missiles, in addition to the traditional 8 anti-ship missiles MM40 Block IIIc Exocet. But the negotiations between Paris and Athens are, it seems, today at an impasse, France not being able to offer a financing solution adapted to Greece, and the overall price of the acquisition of the 2 frigates having greatly increased following Greek requests, to now reach € 2,5 billion, although beyond the country's budgetary capacities.
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