France offers Greece anti-aircraft and anti-submarine frigates free of charge in new deal

France Latouche-Tréville frigate ship

France has offered to give the Greek navy two first-class frigates, the "Jean Bart" (anti-aircraft warfare) and the "Latouche-Tréville" (anti-submarine warfare) free of charge, La Tribune reported.

The French Navy will hand over these two vessels if Athens chooses France through its international call for tenders to build new frigates for the Greek Navy.

Beyond the purchase of four new frigates and the modernisation of its four German-made MEKO frigates, Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos also included in his tender for two used ships that are "ready" and "in good condition" for temporary use.

FS Latouche Treville D-646 Frigate F70AS French Navy Marine Nationale
The Latouche-Tréville.

This will be "an intermediate solution" while awaiting the commissioning of the new frigates which will take seven or eight years to construct.

Paris, as La Tribune writes, has found a solution which could satisfy Greece and does not upset the French navy too much.

It is in this context that French company Naval Group recently made its offer to Greece.

France had initially thought of selling Lafayette frigates to Greece but this solution had a high operational cost for the French Navy.

France now proposes to give free to the Greek Navy two first-class frigates, the "Jean Bart" (anti-aircraft warfare), and the "Latouche-Tréville" (anti-submarine warfare).

The French Navy will hand over its two vessels if Greece chooses Naval Group to build the new frigates.

Admitted to active service in 1990, the "Latouche-Tréville" last February carried out joint exercises in the North Sea as part of the Standing NATO Maritime Group (SNMG-1).

Admitted to active service in 1991 and decommissioned at the beginning of March, the "Jean Bart" will be replaced by the multi-mission air defense frigate (FREDA) "Lorraine", which was launched in Lorient last November and will be delivered to the navy in 2022.

FS Jean Bart D-615 Frigate F70AA French Navy Marine Nationale
The Jean Bart.

The Greek navy, which went to examine the two frigates, was apparently surprised by the good condition of the two ships.

In addition to the two second-hand frigates offered, Naval Group also offers four frigates, three of which will be manufactured locally in a Greek shipyard.

Naval Group have made efforts to make its offer much more attractive than the one rejected by Greece in July 2020 because of the price of 2.5 billion euros for two armed frigates.

As a result, the price per ship has fallen significantly, somewhere between 15% and 20%.

READ MORE: France Donates Tapestry of Raphael’s School of Athens to Greece.