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US Joins Four Other Allies, Competing for Frigate Sale to Greece

US frigates Greece
Credit: US Navy

The United States presented its official proposal for the sale of Naval frigates to Greece on Tuesday.

The American proposal was submitted to the Greek National Defense Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos by the US Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt.

The United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and France – Greece’s NATO allies – have already made offers, which are currently being examined by officers of the Hellenic General Defense Staff.

In a tweet, Pyatt called the proposal “a government-to-government agreement with long-term impact: domestic production, boosting the Greek shipbuilding industry, creating new jobs & the region’s most advanced Naval capability.”

Although Pyatt did not reveal the exact content of the proposal, press reports suggest that he refers to four state-of-the-art frigates, identified as Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) vessels.

Their maker, the Lockheed Corporation, says that the MMSC is a lethal and highly maneuverable multi-mission surface combatant capable of littoral (near shore) and open-ocean operations.

The state-of-the-art naval vessel was designed from the keel up with an eye to confronting modern maritime and economic security threats.

The MMSC takes the proven capabilities of the U.S. Littoral Combat Ship and the inherent flexibility of the Freedom-variant hull to meet the unique maritime requirements of international navies today, according to the defense corporation.

US frigates with range of 5,000 nautical miles

The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant has an enormous range of 5,000 nautical miles and can reach speeds in excess of 30 knots. It will be based on the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship’s 118-meter hull and it will utilize the same combined diesel and gas propulsion system.

With proven combat management system lineage, Lockheed Martin’s MMSC has the interoperability necessary for today’s joint and allied naval force maneuvers. Paired with the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter, the MH-60R SEAHAWK, the MMSC will have a robust anti-submarine mission capability that is fully interoperable with the U.S. Navy and its coalition partners.

The MMSC utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Software, according to Lockheed Martin. The MMSC integrated combat system solution leverages the 57mm Mk110 deck gun and SeaRAM, and expands multi-mission capability through integration of Over-The-Horizon surface-to-surface missiles, port and starboard 20mm remote guns, a new fire control radar and a forward centerline eight cell MK 41 Vertical Launch System, equipped with RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles.

The MMSC is also equipped with the AN/SLQ-25 Torpedo Defense system.

Operational and deployed today with the U.S. Navy as the primary anti-submarine warfare anti-surface weapon system for open ocean and littoral zones, the MH-60R SEAHAWK helicopter is an advanced maritime helicopter. It is a naval helicopter available today designed to operate from frigates, destroyers, cruisers and aircraft carriers.

Five NATO allies battle it out to sell frigates to Greece

Greece has become a battleground for competing NATO allies who have rushed to sell new frigates and capitalize on the country’s massive modernization program for its armed forces.

The focus in the last few months has turned to frigates, as Greece has signaled it intends to procure state-of-the-art vessels to improve its naval capabilities in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean in  the face of the Turkish threat.

The United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and France – Greece’s NATO allies – have already made offers, which are currently examined by officers of the Hellenic General Defence Staff.

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