According to Naval Group’s Laurent Mourre, vice president of sales for Europe and North Africa, Naval News says Greece is seriously considering buying two Belharra frigates. To this end, it is in negotiations with both Naval Group officials and French government officials, as the agreement will be transnational.
According to Mourre, these negotiations are a continuation of the negotiations that had begun between the two sides 10 years ago for the supply of FREMM frigates.
Thus, as the new French proposal to Greece is formulated, it foresees its integration into the FTI program (Fregate de Taille Intermediaire) of the French Navy (Marine Nationale).
The idea is similar to Belgium’s accession to the CAMO armored vehicle program, and is one of the initial attempts to sign an FMS contract by the French.
With the accession of Greece to the French Navy program (five vessels have been ordered) the aim is to build two Greek units in the first phase, at no additional development cost.
Although Greek vessels will be different from the French in that they carry long-range NCM (Naval Cruise Missiles) missiles.
According to the French proposal, the first Greek Belharra will begin shipbuilding shortly after its first handover to the French Navy.
As for financing now, which seems to be the most difficult part of the negotiated transnational agreement, following the LOI sent by the Greek side in early June 2019, the French side, and in particular the Naval Group, has also received official authorization. to look for sources of funding.
The latter will of course include MBDA weapons carried by the Greek Belharra. Which, since they will be multi-role units, will also be equipped with Naval Cruise Missiles, thus acquiring strategic strike capability.
In addition to the 16 SYLVER A50 Vertical Launchers for ASTER 30 numbers, Greek vessels will also be equipped with eight A70 Vertical Launchers for NCM missiles.
All other systems will be exactly the same as those of the French Navy’s Belharra. According to the current timetable the first unit will be delivered in 2023. The Belharra’s length reaches 122 meters and displacement of 4,250 tonnes.
Vessel systems include:
– SEAFIRE Multifunctional Digital Radar with four antennas for guiding ASTER 30 missiles.
– Upgraded Thales CAPTAS-4 sonar, 20% lighter than the original type system with 50% lower footprint.
– Aquilon and IFF (Identification Friend of Foe) digital communications system, interconnected with SEAFIRE radar.
– SENTINEL electronic warfare system, architecture modular.
It is recalled that the Naval Group will also submit a proposal to the Greek side for the delivery of 36 F21 heavy-duty torpedoes for the equipment of Type 214 and -209 submarines.