Dozens of Greek companies have been in contact with France’s Naval Group, which is undertaking the program for building three new frigates for the Hellenic Navy, asking to cooperate in the execution of the contract.
The precise cost of the three landmark warships for Greece has not yet been made known as this week’s signing concerns a cooperation memorandum and not any contracts, which remain under negotiation. However, sources say the price for the three vessels will be in the region of 3 billion euros. That figure will include the weapon systems (hence the memorandum signed in Paris incorporates weapons manufacturer MBDA) and the Follow-On Support for a period of time that has not yet been defined but is expected to last five years.
Given that Greece has long signaled it wants part of the money to finance the Hellenic Navy’s shipbuilding program to return in value terms to the national economy, Naval Group has already scanned the market for possible partners.
Its task force has already identified more than 100 companies, and made contacts and exchanged information with more than 70 of them, including METKA, Space Hellas, Akmon, Stelma, Miltech, Prisma, Thales Hellas, Terra Spatium and Hydrus Engineering.
Naval Group has aptly named this the “Project of Greek Industrial Participation” and its task force to that end has been in Greece since May, the French company has announced. Its objective is “to strengthen the in-depth surveying and identification of the capacities of the Greek industry, as well as to prepare the participation of industrial partners in the frigates program.”
Originally the project even provided for the possible construction of some of the frigates in Greek shipyards, but this has not gone any further. Therefore, from now on, any scope for cooperation will be rather narrow, market insiders point out. Still, some preliminary work has already been done to serve as the basis for the next stage.
Besides the frigates program, Naval Group “seeks to support the development of future capacities of the Hellenic Navy through research and development projects in cooperation with Greek firms, universities and research institutes,” it added.