Athens announces the acquisition from France of six warships, three frigates and three corvettes in the context of a bilateral defense cooperation agreement between France and Greece.
This purchase could seriously change the situation in the Aegean Sea and the entire Eastern Mediterranean, as France now plays a strategic role in shaping a new period of Greek-French defense cooperation.
In this way, Paris is responding in some way to the challenge posed by the United States and the United Kingdom by entering into a strategic alliance with Australia, canceling the giant defense agreements that Paris has concluded with Canberra.
French President Emanuel Macron, who faces elections in 2022, was de facto obligated to conclude contracts in the defense sector so that the production units of the French military industry can keep production chains operational. The Greek-French agreement for the acquisition of six warships alone is about 5 billion euros, which, of course, will not compensate for the loss of an order of 90 billion US dollars, but in any case, it is better than nothing.
To these amounts should be added purchase 18 + 6 Rafale fighters. In addition, Greece is now obliged to purchase weapons systems, spare parts and consumables of all types and categories from the French defense arsenal. In other words, this is a giant long-term deal with everything the French defense industry produces.
In addition, it should be noted that the Greek army is focused on purchasing a new truck for transporting goods and personnel, which will replace the well-known Stager. According to the first information, the Greek Defense Ministry has already chosen a Renault-made vehicle for this purchase. The army, of course, will be followed by the navy and air force, which must change the fleet of trucks serving their needs.
It remains to understand where Greece will get the money for all this, given the ongoing global financial crisis associated with the pandemic, as well as 440 billion in public debt, which is 202% of GDP.
What are Belharra frigates?
The frigate Belharra is equipped with the latest European defense technology that integrates the systems of defense industry giants such as Thales, MBDA, Naval Group and others. All systems are strictly NATO certified and in recent years have been combat tested in all major theaters of war. Thus, according to the developer, it offers the best opportunities in all types of modern painful actions, such as anti-submarine, anti-ship, anti-aircraft, asymmetric, as well as in the field of cyber warfare.
Frigate Belharra’s latest generation systems provide it with increased detection capability, faster response times and better cybersecurity.
In fact, the biggest leap in power level comes from gaining the ability to project to attack ground targets thanks to the latest Naval Cruise Missile (NCM) missile system, which has a range of over 1,000 kilometers.
To protect against air threats, the Belharra frigate is equipped with up to 32 MBDA Aster 30 anti-aircraft / anti-missile missiles. Block 1 Aster 30 has the ability to intercept targets at an altitude of 20 km and at a distance of 120 km.
It will also be equipped with AESA radar, Thales’ state of the art SEA FIRE 500, which promises a range of 500 km and high target detection capabilities with low RCS, as well as hypersonic targets with stealth and high maneuverability features.
To combat submarines, it will carry 2 sonars, an improved version of Thales’ CAPTAS-4 sonar and a Kingclip Mk2 sonar, as well as Naval Group MU90 torpedoes with a range of more than 12 km, which can be used both in shallow water and at depth.
For anti-ship warfare, the Belharra frigate will carry Exocet missiles and will also be equipped with a 76mm turret and 20mm Nexter armament.
The frigate will be able to carry NH90-type helicopters, as well as unmanned aerial vehicles weighing 700 kg.
In the field of electronic warfare, Belharra frigates are equipped with Thales’ SENTINEL system, which is equipped with the latest interceptors capable of intercepting communications, missiles and aircraft.
Thanks to the architecture and flexibility of the SETIS Naval Group combat control system, the frigate BELHARRA will satisfy the needs of all areas of modern naval warfare.
Its main features:
Length: 121 m. Width: 18 m. Maximum displacement: 4400 t. Maximum speed:> 27 knots Availability for warfare: 3500 hours at sea per year Endurance: 45 days Crew: 125 people Deck: 10-ton helicopter. Hangar: 10-ton helicopter + 1 UAV
Corvettes type “Gowind”
It is a compact surface platform equipped with the most modern anti-aircraft, anti-ship and anti-submarine weapons and systems that meet NATO standards.
Gowind uses the best technological advances developed and applied by the Naval Group for large frigates to anticipate and meet future business requirements.
It includes the latest generation combat systems developed by the Naval Group, the SETIS combat control system and the Panoramic Sensor and Intelligence Module (PSIM), a combination of an integrated network with sensors and a backup business center, as well as a high level of integration, automation and the ease of use of Naval Group systems.
Corvette Gowind has already been tested and is in service with the Egyptian Navy. The first ship was built in France in just 38 months, three more are under construction.