French designer and shipbuilder Naval Group is to provide three ‘FDI’ vessels to the Hellenic Navy, with a suite of above- and underwater sensors from Thales Group.
Greece and Naval Group signed a contract for the frigates, plus one optional unit, along with an in-service support package for the vessels in March 2022.
Two frigates are due to be delivered in 2025 and the third in 2026. The contracts also include the supply of MU90 torpedoes and Canto countermeasures systems.
The first two ‘Belh@rra’ type frigates, which are export versions of Naval Group’s Frégate de défense et d’intervention or ‘FDI’ design, will be delivered in 2025 and a third in 2026, and will significantly enhance the capabilities of the Hellenic Navy and their construction will provide a number of industrial opportunities in Greece, creating jobs and skills in the country.
The ‘FDI’ frigates will be capable of anti-ship, anti-air, antisubmarine and special forces operations and are being designed and equipped to be ‘cyber secure’ units.
With a displacement of 4,500tonnes, the new frigates will be 122m long with a breadth of 18m and maximum speed of 27knots. They will have aviation facilities including a 10tonne-class helicopter, vertical take-off and landing unmanned aerial vehicle and will be armed with 32 Aster air defence missiles, eight Exocet MM40 B3C anti-ship missiles, the Rolling Airframe Missile, MU 90 torpedoes in four torpedo tubes and a 76mm main gun.
In a statement, Thales Group said the frigates will be equipped with a package of primary sensors developed by Thales and integrated with the warship’s combat system. The package includes the Sea Fire radar, this being the first export success for the new digital radar system.