Greece is set to make a decision on the corvette acquisition program after the final bids from France and Italy were submitted earlier in the week.
The price tag of the program is currently estimated at €1.5 billion and involves the construction of three ships with the option of adding a fourth.
This amount is for the construction of three ships. The French proposal concerns the Gowind 2500 while the Italian one is for the FCx30 Doha class.
Whichever of the two proposals goes ahead will be done through an intergovernmental agreement procedure. The French deal would entail Naval Group agreeing for production at Skaramanga Shipyards near Athens. Italy’s Fincantieri stipulates an agreement with Elefsis Shipyards and the Onex Group.
In both cases, the first corvette will be built in France or Italy and delivered in 2025. The rest will be made in Greece.
Gowind is a powerful surface combatant equipped with NATO-interoperable and combat-proven systems. It is designed and built by Naval Group, the French naval leader dedicated to military ships, which is the provider of naval vessels for the French and allied navies.
The Italian Doha-class corvette built by Fincantieri was showcased for the first time with the multi-role air defense corvettes for the Qatari Emiri Navy during DIMDEX 2018. In August 2017, Qatar officially announced the order of the four ships of the specific class after signing the contract in June 2016.
They are able to operate high-speed boats such as the rigid-hulled inflatable boat with the help of lateral cranes and hauling ramps. All four of the Doha class will serve as the backbone of the Qatari Emiri Navy.
Corvette acquisition by Greece to counter Turkish threat
Greece has been modernizing its defense forces in the face of repeated threats by Turkey in the Aegean.
Last March, Athens signed an agreement with France for acquisition by the Hellenic Navy of three Belharra frigates also built by the Naval Group with an option for a fourth.
The agreement includes in-service support and the supply of MU90 torpedoes and CANTO countermeasures.
They will be named after Cimon, who rose to prominence for his bravery in fighting in the naval Battle of Salamis in 480 BC; Nearchus, an admiral in the army of Alexander the Great; and Phormio, an Athenian general and admiral before and during the Peloponnesian War.
In this symbolic move, Greece celebrates the great naval history of the nation from ancient times to modernity.
Earlier in 2022, the Parliament of Greece ratified an arms agreement with France which also includes the purchase of six new Rafale fighter jets to an existing order for eighteen aircraft.