Greece seeks to add 15 frigates to inventory in 5 years

French Frigates for Greece

Greece is carrying out an refresh program for its armed forces, with a report by local Kathimerini newspaper confirming that it seeks to add 15 ships to its inventory in the next five years.

In a story on last Tuesday, the daily said that as a first step, a contract for the purchase of three French FDI-type frigates will be completed soon.

The government will then make a final decision of corvette purchase program, for which Dutch, Italian and French companies are competing.

The report said that if the supplies of two and six Alkmaar-class minehunters, for which Greece and the Netherlands signed a letter of intent on October, move ahead, the Greek Navy will have to de-commission some older units and allocate a costly maintenance budget.

Meanwhile, Greek and US coast guards signed a cooperation memorandum in Athens on Tuesday, the official AMNA news agency reported.

The agreement that came amid expanding US-Greek military cooperation was inked in the presence of Greek Shipping Minister Giannis Plakiotakis and US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt.

Plakiotakis said it is an important step toward even closer cooperation between the two countries.

Pyatt stated that cooperation would contribute to the stability and safety of navigation in the Mediterranean.

The Greek Navy already operates 13 frigates, nine Dutch Kortenaer and four German Meko-200 class, and had ordered three FDI class frigates from France in September.

Greece recently also signed multiple big-ticket arms deals with Israel for the purchase of drones and missiles, with France for purchase of Rafael warplanes, and with the US for the update of its F-16s fighter jets to the latest Viper configuration.

More recently, the US State Department approved the sale of four warships worth $6.9 billion to Greece along with the existing frigate modernization transactions worth $2.5 billion but Greece is intent of staying with the French frigates.