During the wide consultation conducted for Athens to acquire new frigates as part of the modernization of the Hellenic Navy, two offers seemed to stand out from the lot, the FDI Belharra from Naval Group, finally chosen by Athens, and the Sigma 15515 from the Dutch Damen. In addition to the qualities of the Dutch frigate, Amsterdam proposed the sale of its two frigates of the Karel Doorman class as a waiting solution. However, these ships had, in the eyes of the Hellenic Navy, an interest far superior to two Type 70 frigates that Paris proposed to offer to Athens if the latter were to choose the FDI. Finally, it seems that the Greek authorities managed to reconcile the goat and the cabbage, since after having announced the order of 3 FDI frigates, plus one optional, from Naval Group, they just announced signing a letter of intent to acquire from the Netherlands 6 mine warfare Alkmaar class ships from the Dutch Navy, as well as the two Karel Doorman class frigates previously offered as a waiting solution.
The outlines of the agreement between Athens and Amsterdam are still poorly detailed, particularly in terms of deadlines and budgetary envelope. Obviously, Athens intends to rapidly strengthen its naval capabilities in order to be able to deter Ankara from any adventurism in the Aegean Sea or Cyprus, by simultaneously strengthening its surface fleet with two perfectly capable frigates, and its mine warfare capabilities that l 'we know to be insufficient in the face of the potential threat, with only two Osprey-class minesweepers and a single Hunt-class minehunter, all three acquired second-hand in the 2000s. Mines of the Alkmaar class, resulting from the Tripartite program which brought together France, Belgium and the Netherlands for a total of 6 ships produced, will considerably increase the capacities of the Hellenic Navy in this area.
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