Naval Group Cuts Steel for Hellenic Navy’s 2nd FDI Frigate in Lorient
Naval Group Cuts Steel for Hellenic Navy’s 2nd FDI Frigate in Lorient

Naval Group Cuts Steel for Hellenic Navy’s 2nd FDI Frigate in Lorient

Naval Group started the construction of the 2nd FDI frigate for the Hellenic Navy. The steel-cutting ceremony took place today in the Naval Group shipyard of Lorient. The program for three frigates plus one optional, for the Hellenic Navy was signed the 24th of March 2022. Less than four months later, and while the first frigate is already in production, the steel-cutting ceremony held today in Lorient marked an important step in the program and the beginning of the production phase of the second frigate. The ceremony was led by Gilles Langlois Naval Group Program Director for Hellenic Navy Frigates in presence of Commodore Theocharis Chatzopoulos Commanding Officer of the Hellenic Navy Detachment in Lorient.

“The FDI frigates will contribute to strengthen the capabilities of the Hellenic Fleet and address the security challenges of the coming decades. The cooperation of the Hellenic Navy and Industry in the context of FDI program is just starting to take place and there are promising signs of a smooth and productive collaboration,” Commodore Theocharis Chatzopoulos said.

“We are very pleased to be here in Lorient today to celebrate this first major industrial milestone in the production of the second frigate for the Hellenic Navy. We are proud to achieve this milestone more than three months ahead of schedule and fully committed to delivering the best frigates to the Hellenic Navy in the shortest possible timeframe,” Gilles Langlois said.

Computer-generated image of Hellenic Navy’s FDI Frigate (Photo by Naval Group)

The Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention (English: Defence and Intervention Frigate) or FDI, also known as the Frégate de Taille Intermédiaire (English: Medium-Size Frigate) or FTI, is a planned class of French frigates. As of February 2022, five ships have been ordered for the French Navy, with the lead ship being named “Amiral Ronarc’h”, and an additional three for the Hellenic Navy. The Intermediate Frigate (FTI) program responds to the need for a fleet of fifteen first-class frigates and allows the French Navy to operate in a crisis zone, as recommended in the White Paper on Defense and National Security of 2013. These frigates join the ten examples of the FREMM multipurpose frigate (Aquitaine) class and Horizon class.

Greece signed an agreement with France’s Naval Group to purchase three FDI frigates with an option for one more for the Hellenic Navy as part of a $5 billion defence package. It was reported that the Hellenic Navy ships would eventually carry a more extensive weapons fit with launch tubes capable of carrying up to 32 Aster-30 air defence missiles (in 4 Sylver A-50 or 3 A-50 and 1 A-70 for 8 MdCN missile. This will permit the Hellenic Navy eventually to operate three ships with 32 aerial defence missiles plus 21 point defence missiles being also equipped with one Mk31 21-cell launcher of RAM Block 2B surface-to-air missiles, 8 Block 3 Exocet anti-ship missiles, 2 dual launchers MU90 torpedoes and CANTO torpedo countermeasures.