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Long-overdue MLU of Greek Hydra-class frigates gains traction

The MLU of the Hyrda-class frigates, to be carried out at Hellenic Shipyards in Skaramanga, is intended to extend their service lives to around 2035. (Guy Toremans)

The US State Department has approved the possible sale of equipment for the mid-life upgrade (MLU) of the Hellenic Navy's four Hydra (Meko 200 HN)-class frigates for an estimated cost of EUR2.22 billion (USD2.50 billion).

The Foreign Military Sales (FMS) case was notified to US Congress during December.

The Hellenic Navy has been planning the MLU of its Hydra-class frigates, which were commissioned between 1992–98, for several years, but the programme has been postponed multiple times due to the country's financial difficulties.

The modernisation effort will include the renewal or upgrade of most of the frigates' onboard obsolete sensors and weapon systems.

New equipment planned to be installed includes the Mk 49 launcher for the RIM-116 Rolling Airframe Missile (RAM) system; Nexter NARWHAL 20 mm remotely controlled weapon systems; the replacement of the Signaal STACOS Mod 2 combat management system with the Aegis-based COMBATSS-21; a TRS-4D fire-control radar; a Mod 5 identification friend-or-foe (IFF) system replacing the Mk XII Mod 4 system; an active electronically scanned array air/surface surveillance and target acquisition radar substituting the MW08 air search and DA08 air surface radars; a low-frequency active towed sonar; a Compact Low Frequency Active Passive Variable Depth Sonar-2; an infrared search and track system; a complete electronic warfare suite; a laser-warning system; an AN/SRQ-4 tactical common datalink; SY-150, SY-117G and KYV-5M cryptographic equipment; and Link 16 and Link 22 tactical data networks, as well as the installation of new masts.

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