The United States is aggressively pitching Greece to purchase four American-made frigates, and will offer to co-produce three vessels in country, the top U.S. diplomat in Greece said Thursday.
SOURCE: DEFENSE NEWS
“We think the United States is going to have a very competitive product to offer there with our frigates and the unique American proposal to co-produce three of those frigates here in Greece,” said Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador to Greece, during a panel discussion hosted during the during the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.
Should Greece decide to buy frigates from the United States, the U.S. government is proposing that three of them be co-produced by American-owned Onex Shipyards, based in the Greek island of Syros.
“We had a U.S. Navy International Programs Office team here in Athens just a few weeks ago, which had a very successful round of discussions with Onex, visiting the shipyards [and] seeing the capabilities there,” Pyatt said.
“They came away absolutely confident that if the Greek state goes with the American frigate offer, that the United States and the US Navy IPO will be positioned to implement a co-production approach to that strategically important project — a project which is important to Greece’s long term security, but also advances America’s interest in helping Greece to continue to be a strong and effective NATO partner in a geopolitically complicated neighborhood,” he said.
It’s unclear which frigate Pyatt was talking about. The U.S. Navy recently launched a new frigate design with Fincantieri’s FREMM, though it is unlikely that this is the frigate the United States is pitching to Greece since it is only now entering the detailed design phase after being awarded in April.
Lockheed Martin’s Multi-Mission Surface Combatant, being built at Fincantieri’s Marinette Marine shipyard, is a potential contender. The four-ship, $1.96 billion MMSC contract with buyer Saudi Arabia was awarded in December. The MMSC is an evolution of the U.S. Navy’s mono-hull littoral combat ship design. Another option would be to refurbish four of the Oliver Hazzard Perry-class frigates currently in mothballs.
The Navy has transferred a number of those ships to other countries, including the former frigates Taylor and Gary to Taiwan. Turkey also uses converted Oliver Hazzard Perry-class frigates in its fleet. In a statement, the Navy declined to discuss any pending sale. READ MORE HERE