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Naval Group launches first Greek FDI frigate

Kimon , the first FDI frigate for the Hellenic Navy, was officially launched at Naval Group's Lorient shipyard on 4 October. (Naval Group)

French shipbuilder Naval Group has officially launched the first Frégate de Défense et d'Intervention (FDI) multimission frigate on order for the Hellenic Navy (HN).

A formal launch ceremony for the future HS Kimon (F 601) was held at Naval Group's shipyard in Lorient, France, on 4 October following the ship's technical launch the previous week. Kimon was laid down in October 2022 and following sea trials, which are planned to start in 2024, is on track to be delivered in 2025.

Naval Group is building three FDI frigates for the HN under a contract signed in March 2022. The contract includes in-service support as well as an option for a fourth frigate.

Production of all three frigates is now under way. Second-in-class Nearchos (F 602), which started construction in July 2022, has just been transferred into dry dock ahead of its keel-laying ceremony, Naval Group said. Meanwhile, a steel-cutting ceremony for Phormion (F 603), the final boat on order, was held on 12 July 2023. As with Kimon, Nearchos is also planned to be commissioned in 2025, followed by Phormion in 2026.

The FDI HN is the export version of the five Amiral Ronarc'h-class frigates being built for the French Navy – and is Naval Group's first export order for the type. Kimon and Nearchos were originally planned for delivery to the French Navy but are being completed as FDI HN frigates to speed up the delivery timelines for the Greek programme.

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