On September 28th, Nikólaos Panayotópoulos, the Greek Minister of Defence, Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group, and Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to open negotiations to provide the Hellenic Navy (HN) with three Defence and Intervention frigates (FDI HN) and their equipment as well as an optional additional frigate. The FDI HN frigates will be built in the Naval Group shipyard in Lorient, where the second in the series for the French Navy has just entered production. The FDI HN will be an asset of power and sovereignty for Greece.
With the FDI HN, the Hellenic Navy will have a state-of-the-art, high-performance surface fleet. As a first-rank frigate, the FDI HN is a compendium of the best technologies of Naval Group, Thales and MBDA, which will notably supply the ASTER 30 B1 and Exocet MM40 Block 3C missiles. It will be fully interoperable with European and NATO fleets. Greece will become the second customer of this multi-mission frigate, bringing the number of units produced from five for the French Navy to eight in total, plus one as an option.
The FDI (Frégate de défense et d’intervention, Frigate for defence and intervention) is a French military program to design and create a planned class of frigates to be used by the French Navy. At the moment, the program consists of five ships, with commissioning now planned from 2024 onwards with the lead ship being named Admiral Ronarch. First steel was cut in October 2019 beginning construction on the lead unit. The lead ship was projected to be laid down in November 2021. These frigates join the ten examples of the FREMM multipurpose frigate (Aquitaine) class and Horizon class.
Naval Group (formerly known as Direction des Constructions Navales or DCNS) is a global and major French defense contractor and an industrial group that specialized in naval-based defense. The group employs nearly 16,000 people in 18 countries. The company is owned in part by the Agence des participations de l’État, a private company through which the French state holds a 62.49% stake, Thales holds 35% and the personnel a 1.64% stake. MBDA is a European multinational developer and manufacturer of missiles. It was formed as a joint venture by a merger of the guided missile divisions of EADS (now Airbus), Finmeccanica (now Leonardo), and BAE Systems in December 2001. The company name is an initialism of the names of the companies that came together to form it: Matra; BAe Dynamics and Alenia.