Greece Orders Three French Frigates in €3Bn Deal
(Source: Defense-Aerospace.com; posted Sept. 28, 2021)
While France and Greece have agreed the sale of three FDI-class frigates for the Hellenic Navy, with a fourth ship on option, the €3 billion deal does not include the three Gowind corvettes that were due to be built under license in Greece. (NG image)
PARIS --- Greece has agreed to buy three FDI Belharra-class frigates from France, with an option for a fourth, the two countries’ leaders announced here today.
French President Emmanuel Macron and Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis revealed the agreement, which also includes a larger defense cooperation agreement, during a joint press conference here this morning.
Furthermore, Greece is also expected to formalize a follow-on order for six Dassault Rafale fighters, in addition to the 18 ordered earlier this year, the first of which was handed over on July 21.
The ships will be armed by Aster 30B1 air-defense missiles and Exocet MM40 Block 3C anti-ship missiles made by MBDA.
The naval contract, valued at about 3 billion euros, is substantially lower than anticipated. Greek media reported yesterday that the contract would include three Gowind-class corvettes, to be built in Greece, in addition to the three frigates, a deal that was valued at about 5 billion euros.
No explanation was provided for the exclusion of the corvettes from today’s announcement.
Greece and France Further Strengthen Their Defense Cooperation: Acquisition of 3 Defense and Intervention Frigates (FDI) by Greece
(Source: French Armed Forces Ministry; issued Sept. 28, 2021)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
Today, Tuesday, September 28, in the presence of the Minister of the Armed Forces, the Greek Minister of Defense signed, with the CEOs of the French companies Naval Group and MBDA, a “Memorandum of Understanding” which provides for the acquisition by the Hellenic Navy of three Defense and Intervention Frigates made in France, plus an optional fourth, as well as their support and associated armaments.
Following the acquisition of 18 Rafale by Greece, and its announced intention to order six more (for a total of 24 Rafale), this decision is part of the more general framework of a strategic partnership concluded between our two countries, announced today by the President of the French Republic and the Greek Prime Minister.
Armed Forces Minister Florence Parly said: “This is a historic announcement, which confirms the exceptional defense cooperation between our two countries. The construction by France of this cutting-edge equipment contributes to an ambitious European defense. Our two navies will both be equipped with these first-rate frigates, which are modern and powerful combat ships."
The latest-generation Defense and Intervention Frigates will equip the French Navy from 2024 and the Hellenic Navy from 2025.
This will allow the two navies to benefit from an exceptional level of interoperability, and also paves the way for enhanced cooperation, offering in particular the prospect of significant synergies in the field of support.
Greece’s choice corresponds to its desire for strong European sovereignty and once again materializes the vitality of our bilateral cooperation. It shows that the French naval industry is able to offer our partners an offer of the best world standard.
This new export success is part of a proactive policy by the Minister of the Armed Forces to strengthen our European partnerships. France has never exported as many weapons as it has since 2017, and in recent years Europe has become the leading export zone for French defense equipment.
As a major engine of our economy and the vitality of our territories, our Defense Technological Industrial Base (BITD) employs 200,000 people today in France. Between 2017 and 2020, 36,320 jobs were created in France in defense companies.
Greece Signs a Memorandum of Understanding with Naval Group and MBDA Opening Negotiations for the Supply of Three FDIs and One Optional
(Source: joint MBDA – Naval Group release; issued Sept. 28, 2021)
On September 28th, Nikólaos Panayotópoulos, the Greek Minister of Defence, Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group, and Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to open negotiations to provide the Hellenic Navy (HN) with three Defence and Intervention frigates (FDI HN) and their equipment as well as an optional additional frigate.
The FDI HN frigates will be built in the Naval Group shipyard in Lorient, where the second in the series for the French Navy has just entered production.
The FDI HN will be an asset of power and sovereignty for Greece. With the FDI HN, the Hellenic Navy will have a state-of-the-art, high-performance surface fleet.
As a first-rank frigate, the FDI HN is a compendium of the best technologies of Naval Group, Thales and MBDA, which will notably supply the ASTER 30 B1 and Exocet MM40 Block 3C missiles. It will be fully interoperable with European and NATO fleets.
Greece will become the second customer of this multi-mission frigate, bringing the number of units produced from five for the French Navy to eight in total, plus one as an option.
With a significant presence in five European countries and within the USA, in 2020 MBDA achieved revenue of 3.6 billion euros with an order book of 16.6 billion euros. In total, the group offers a range of 45 missile systems and countermeasures products already in operational service and more than 15 others currently in development.
MBDA is jointly owned by Airbus (37.5%), BAE Systems (37.5%), and Leonardo (25%).