The announcement made by Greek Prime Minister Kyriákos Mitsotákis and French President Emmanuel Macron on September 18 regarding the new alliance formed by France and Greece, as well as orders for 3 FDI frigates and 6 Rafale planes was certainly of high political significance, but it was also miserly on details. It was therefore necessary to wait for the intervention this morning of Hervé Grandjean, the spokesperson for the Ministry of the Armed Forces, to find out more on this subject. And this time, the details were numerous, in particular as regards configuration of the Hellenic frigates, but also concerning the schedule of delivery, and its influence on the renewal of the frigates of 1st rank of the French Navy.
The FDI HN (Hellenic Navy) frigates will therefore be different from their French counterparts, contrary to the initial requirements of Athens. Indeed, these will implement, in addition to 76mm Strales gun, 4 SYLVER 50 vertical silo systems to accommodate 32 Aster 30 B1 long-range anti-aircraft missiles which, associated with the new AESA flat face radar Seafire 500 de Thales, will make the ship a leading anti-aircraft defense platform, capable of blocking the sky over more than 25.000 km2, or 12% of the Aegean Sea per ship. However, the frigates will retain significant anti-ship firepower with 8 MM40 Block3C anti-ship missiles with a range of over 150 km and capable, if necessary, of hitting targets on land or of prioritizing the choice of targets, as well as a highly efficient anti-submarine warfare capability, with Kingklip hull sonar Mk2, a Captas-4 variable depth towed sonar, and 2 triple torpedo tubes armed with light Mu-90 anti-submarine torpedoes.
Basically, therefore, the FDI HN will have a firepower equivalent to the new FREMM frigates of the Alsace class which will soon join the French Navy, while having a significantly more efficient radar, despite a lower tonnage of more than 1600 tons. . They will drastically strengthen Hellenic naval power, and allow Athens to hold the line against the new Ada corvettes and Istanbul frigates of the Turkish Navy, while offering the Greek forces a naval alternative to the S-400 systems acquired by Ankara from Russia. With 3 frigates of this type, the Hellenic Navy will indeed be able to simultaneously protect more than 60% of the Greek Islands, while with 4 units, it will be able to create a denial of access zone extending from the Bosphorus to the south of Cyprus.
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