The development of the first Greek FDI frigate Belharra, named "KIMON", is progressing as Naval Group, which is participating in the TIF by exhibiting the Greek Navy's programme, regularly makes posts revealing the rapid progress of the programme.
"KIMON" is expected to be launched by the end of the month, while Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis will be present at the ceremony, according to what he had stated in mid-July last year.
It should be noted that Naval Group is represented at the Thessaloniki International Fair to present the FDI programme for the Greek Navy at the Greek Ministry of Defence's pavilion.
At the current pace, it is expected that the first frigate will be delivered to Greece at the end of 2024, the second in 2025 and the third in the second half of 2026, while it is stressed that for the next three years after delivery, a contract for the continuous support of the ships has been signed.
The La Fayette class frigates have been a highly successful project for French shipyards, with over 20 units having been sold to 4 different navies. With the development of the Belharra frigate (available as FDI HN in Greece), DCNS aims to continue its commercial success by completing its range of warships offered with a latest generation vessel positioned between the FREMM class multi-mission frigate (with a displacement of 6,000 tons) and that of the GOWIND class corvettes (with a displacement of 2,500 to 3,100 tons).
Ten years after the first design studies for the FREMM frigate, the FDI (Defence and Intervension Frigate) is drawing on the experience of the French Navy in a large number of operational theatres. The vessel thus meets the expectations of navies looking for a compact frigate capable of ensuring long-range missions, and which can operate autonomously or integrated into a naval force, on the high seas or as part of coastal surveillance missions in a dense and hostile environment.
Their most striking feature is that they can operate with a crew of just 60, while the remaining 60 people required to support the ship (120 in total) can be assisted in their operations by a similar centre located ashore. The main operational capabilities of the frigate are:
- the escort and protection of high-value units against any conventional threat above and below the sea surface
- interoperability within a multinational naval force and contribution to all areas of warfare
- deployment in crisis areas as a command centre, but also as a platform for the deployment of special forces
- conventional deterrence in coastal areas and on the high seas