US plots another possible deal with Greece for Hydra-class frigate upgrade

The US State Department has made a determination to approve a possible contract with the government of Greece for the modernization of four MEKO Hydra-class frigates in a deal worth around $2.5 billion.

Illustration. Hellenic Navy file photo of frigate HS Elli

As disclosed, the Greek government has requested to buy equipment and services to repair, update, and enhance their four existing Hydra-class frigates. The upgrades would, among other things, include the modernization of weapon systems, combat management systems and sonars.

According to the US officials, the principal contractors will be Raytheon Missiles and Defense, Waltham, MA; Lockheed Martin, Bethesda, MD; BAE Systems, Arlington, VA; and VSE Corporation, Alexandria, VA. In early July, defense contractor BAE Systems revealed its engagement in Greece around its bid to deliver the Hellenic Navy’s new frigate modernization program.

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The Hydra-class frigates were designed in Germany and are part of the MEKO group of modular warships. The program was authorized in 1988 and previsioned for the commission of six vessels. The first ship was built in Germany and commissioned in 1992.

The Greek-built warships were delayed due to financial problems on the part of the Hellenic Shipyards which also led to limiting the total number of vessels to four.

Separately, the US State Department announced a possible sale of four multi-mission surface combatant (MMSC) ships and related equipment for an estimated cost of $6.9 billion. 

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With these proposed contracts, Greece aims to improve its capability to meet current and future threats by providing an effective combatant deterrent capability to protect maritime interests and infrastructure in support of its strategic location on NATO’s southern flank.

Meanwhile, in the future, frigates are expected to account for a 32.7% revenue share of the total naval vessels market over the coming decade, according to GlobalData’s report.

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