Change of Command in the Red Sea: Greek Prime Minister Visits French Shipyards


The Greek frigate HYDRA is set to return to Greece after a successful three-month deployment in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

As part of the European operation "ASPIDES," the HYDRA played a critical role in protecting commercial ships from Houthi attacks originating from Yemen. The mission marks a significant milestone for the vessel, which recorded its first "Kill Mark" by downing an unmanned aircraft and deterring three additional UAVs from its operational area.

The Navy has hailed the HYDRA's deployment as a success, noting valuable insights gained in countering unmanned threats and autonomous systems. These lessons will be swiftly incorporated into the Navy’s training programs and tactical exercises. After a brief refuelling stop in Port Said, the HYDRA will head to the Salamis Naval Station, arriving on Wednesday.

The return of the HYDRA coincides with the deployment of the frigate PSARA, which is set to take over operations in the Red Sea following the European elections. The PSARA, now equipped with a new and more powerful anti-drone system, has completed rigorous in-bay and at-sea tests and is ready for its mission.

In a related development, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will visit the French shipyards in Lorient, where Greece’s three FDI frigates are being constructed. Accompanied by Minister of National Defense Nikos Dendias and National Security Adviser Thanos Dokos, Mitsotakis will tour the nearly completed KIMON frigate. This visit underscores the robust Greek-French defense cooperation, with the KIMON frigate expected to commence system tests in the coming months.

During his visit, Mitsotakis will conduct an interview with the advanced warship in the backdrop, discussing national defense enhancements and initiatives for a unified European defense and anti-aircraft shield. While no new equipment announcements are anticipated, discussions will likely touch on Greece’s interest in acquiring additional Rafale jets and expanding its fleet with a fourth FDI frigate and new corvettes.

(Source: Kathimerini)

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