Lockheed Martin is set to manufacture frigates for the Hellenic Navy which would bring “economic opportunity” for Greece, this week Lockheed Martin team visited Aegean country’s shipyards to discuss how they can partner to deliver this capability to Greece. Greece has proposed the promotion of a transnational agreement for the purchase of the Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) frigates. The ship is a variant of the U.S. Navy Littoral Combat Ship (LCS). It was said that the contract would include the supply of four MMSC frigates, the upgrade of four MEKO-type frigates, intermediate solution ships and the participation of Greek shipyards in the development of the new American FFG(X) type frigate. Building MMSC in Greece would bring immediate shipbuilding jobs, and longer-term job opportunities, including sustainment, maintenance and modernization jobs.
LCS has more than 600,000 nautical miles under the keel and plenty of deployments. All of the operational feedback from these deployments is rolled into MMSC. MMSC also has proven, trusted U.S Navy technology onboard, including an Aegis-derived Combat Management System, Cyber-hardened defenses, and engineering and propulsion control systems. If a Navy needs more anti-air or anti-submarine capabilities, the ship’s design can be modified to meet those needs. It can truly be a custom ship for the Hellenic Navy. MMSC is capable of carrying weapons that will be a true game changer for Greece. The U.S. Navy has already invested in significant capabilities for its fleet, and the Hellenic Navy will benefit from a variety of weapon systems and sensors already integrated into MMSC.
When MMSC and MH-60R work together, fully integrated, they bring lethal and capable anti-submarine warfare capabilities to the fight. MMSC is interoperable with several U.S. Navy programs of record, meaning that the ship will allow the U.S. and Greece to partner on international missions, and that Greece will have the benefit of U.S. Navy program of record support for 30+ years. Many of MMSC’s functions are automated. On older ships, things like operating the ships propulsion plant could take engineering division of more than 20 sailors. On MMSC, these processes are automated and require less than five sailors. MMSC can operate in as little as four and a half meters of water, making it ideal for near-shore environments, like the Aegean Sea. In addition to operating in these shallow-depth, near-shore environments, MMSC is capable in open ocean environments.
In addition to the jobs created from building MMSC in Greece, the country will also benefit from skilled jobs required to sustain and maintain these ships over the next several decades. As Greece’s Navy maintenance workforce grows, Greece can support allied Navies, too, growing the economy for years to come. MMSC will bring positive long-term benefits to the Greek economy in shipbuilding and the wider defense industrial base. Like the Littoral Combat Ship, MMSC was designed with cyber defense from the very beginning. MMSC benefits from the level of cyber defense that is designed to meet and exceed U.S. Navy requirements. Finally, MMSC is fully interoperable with modernized MEKO-class frigates. It was designed from the keel up to confront modern maritime and economic security threats.