The US welcomes Greece’s continuous efforts to upgrade its defense capabilities, the State Department noted on Tuesday following the new defense agreement signed with France.
“The US and Greece enjoy a robust defense relationship rooted in our shared values,” a State Department spokesperson said, according to the Athens-Macedonia News Agency (AMNA).
“We strongly support Greece’s role in creating stability in the region and look forward to continuing to work closely with Greece to advance our shared goals for peace and prosperity in the region including through our robust relationship with the Hellenic Navy,” the spokesperson said.
US, Greece defense agreement to be extended indefinitely?
“While we have not seen the details of Greece and France’s multi-year defense agreement, we note that the longstanding US-Greece Mutual Defense Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) was updated in 2019 to the mutual benefit of our two nations and regional security,” the spokesperson added.
The official also said that significant progress on reaching an agreement on potential updates to the MDCA has been made, including extending the agreement indefinitely from its current annual duration that will help advance peace in the region and shared defense and security goals between close NATO allies.
France, Greece pledge immediate military assistance
The agreement, said French President Emmanuel Macron, strengthens cooperation in the area of security and helps safeguard the sovereignty and territorial integrity of both countries. It is also an important milestone in European defense, he said.
“Today is a historic day for Greece and France, because we have decided with President Macron to upgrade our bilateral defense cooperation, while expanding the readiness of our states for solidarity, mutual assistance and joint action in all fields,” Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said.
Under the agreement, France has pledged to provide immediate military assistance to Greece – and vice versa – in the event of an attack by a third country, even if that country is in one their alliances (such as Turkey, which is a NATO member).
FDI-HN frigates to join Greece’s Navy
The FDI-HN that Greece will buy are 4500-ton frigates equipped with the best radars, with the extremely capable Thales Sea Fire AESA radar, and sonar, with the Kingklip Mk.2 hull mounted sonar and a CAPTAS 4C variable depth sonar, both also from Thales.
It would be armed with 32 Sylver A50 cells for Aster 30 SAMs, a RAM CIWS, eight Exocet SSMs in their latest upgrade, two twin launchers for MU90 torpedoes, one 76mm gun and finally, two remotely-controlled autocannons.
The build plan proposed by Paris would be for the three frigates to be built in France, with delivery of the first two by 2025 and the third in 2026. One remains as an additional option and could be built by Greek shipyards.