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Greece set to buy new frigates from France

The FDI HN frigate specific to the Hellenic Navy (pictured) will share significant commonality with the French parent design (Naval Group)

Greece has signed an agreement with Naval Group and MBDA to begin negotiations on the acquisition of three Frégate de défense et d'intervention (FDI) multimission frigates.

The memorandum of understanding, signed by Greek defence minister Nikólaos Panayotópoulos, Naval Group CEO Pierre Eric Pommellet, and MBDA CEO Eric Béranger, covers the potential sale of three FDI HN vessels for the Hellenic Navy, with an option for one additional ship. French sources say a contract should be concluded before the end of 2021.

In a statement Naval Group said it planned to build all three FDI HN ships at its Lorient facility in Brittany, northwest France. The Lorient yard is already building the first two of the five FDI frigates on order for the French Navy.

The French FDI first-of-class Amiral Ronarc'h is planned to commence sea trials in 2022, with handover to follow before the end of 2023. Entry into service with the French Navy is scheduled before the end of 2024.

Janes understands that, to accelerate the Greek programme, the second and third FDI ships will now be completed as FDI HN ships for delivery to the Hellenic Navy in 2025. The third ship for Greece would follow in 2026.

The FDI HN variant specific to the Hellenic Navy will share significant commonality with the French parent design. The combat system will include Naval Group's own SETIS combat management system, the Thales Sea Fire active electronically scanned array multifunction radar, and the Thales CAPTAS-4 Compact low frequency active/passive variable depth sonar)

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