Greece Negotiating with U.S. for Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships

Hellenic Armed Forces are also eyeing stealthy F-35 jets and Black Hawk rotorcraft
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  • 01:54 PM, January 16, 2024
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Greece Negotiating with U.S. for Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships
Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) @Lockheed Martin

Greece is in discussions with the United States regarding the acquisition of four Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships (LCS) for the Hellenic Navy.

In December 2021, Lockheed and the U.S. Navy submitted a bid for the Hellenic Future Frigate, proposing a mid-life upgrade for four Hydra-class frigates and the sale of four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) vessels derived from the U.S. Navy’s Freedom-variant LCS. The U.S. State Department approved a possible Foreign Military Sale to Greece of four MMSC ships and related equipment at an estimated cost of $6.9 billion on December 10, 2021.

Tasos Chatzivasileiou, a Member of the Hellenic Parliament and Secretary General of the Standing Committee of National Defense and Foreign Affairs, revealed to the ongoing discussions with the U.S. about the potential acquisition of four Freedom-class LCS for the Hellenic Navy.

The Greek Hellenic Navy Future Frigate (HF2), based on Lockheed Martin's MMSC and Freedom-class variant, features a larger 76mm gun and potential use of the Naval Strike Missile (NSM). It incorporates an eight-cell MK 41 vertical launch system and three additional single-cell VLS tubes, totaling 11 cells. The seaframe's design and COMBATSS 21 combat management system allow strategic placement of VLS cells. Propulsion is provided by Rolls-Royce MT30 gas turbines, benefiting from LCS program improvements. The HF2's anti-submarine warfare (ASW) capability includes a variable-depth sonar (VDS) and MH-60R helicopter. The frigate can operate multiple UAVs, communicating concurrently with UAVs and one or two MH-60R helicopters. The HF2 employs the MK 31 system and transitions to the TRS 4D AN/SPS-80 radar for improved detection, according to Seapower magazine.

Greece Negotiating with U.S. for Freedom-class Littoral Combat Ships
F-35 fighter @F-35 JPO

Lockheed Martin is exploring export opportunities and potential HF2 hull construction in Greece, aligning with Greece's naval modernization. The acquisition involves a partnership for shipbuilding capability modernization and potential use of the AEGIS-based COMBATSS-21 system.

Chatzivasileiou also mentioned advancing talks with the U.S. for F-35 fighter aircraft and Black Hawk helicopters. In December 2023, the U.S. authorized the transfer of 35 UH-60M Black Hawk helicopters and additional military equipment to Greece, totaling $1.95 billion.

Greek Defense Minister Nikos Dendias announced in July 2023 that the nation intends to increase its defense spending by about $12.62 billion over the following four years. At that time, he stated that 19 significant procurements were planned, including upgrading 37 F-16 Block 50 aircraft and acquiring at least 20 F-35 fighter jets.

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