Greece’s defense minister on Monday continued to make headlines in relation to acquisition of new weapons systems, two days after Washington announced its approval of a multi-billion-euro sale of 20+20 F-35 warplanes to the country.
Speaking in Athens after receiving his Cypriot counterpart Vasilis Palmas at the defense ministry, Greek Minister Nikos Dendias referred directly to the “joint design and co-production of new generation Constellation-class frigates”. In a later posting on X (formerly Twitter), Dendias said the Hellenic Navy general staff has received a letter from the US Navy accepting, in principle, Greece’s interest in co-building seven new frigates at shipyards in the east Mediterranean country.
“Greece, assuming there is an agreement, could participate in this program right from the beginning, namely, from its planning stage, according to the needs of the Hellenic Navy; a huge leap for our navy, but also for the Greek shipbuilding industry,” he added.
Beyond the the fifth-generation and “stealthy” US-made F-35, an accompanying package to provide Greece with surplus US assets – three LCS-type warships, infantry fighting vehicles and at least two military transport planes, among others – along with the intent to broach the building of new US-designed frigates in Greek yards, the “VIMAtodotis” column of the Athens weekly “To Vima” also revealed an initiative by the Greek defense ministry to construct a “drone submarine”, officially known as an unmanned underwater vehicle (UUV).
“I won’t dwell on drones, which you have already read about, but also on small vessels that will maneuver autonomously in the sea, and some of them below the surface,” VIMAtodotis had Dendias saying, during a recent visit to the Hellenic Navy’s main anchorage and naval station.
Finally, speaking over the weekend in the northeast border city of Xanthi during another military-related event, Dendias, the former foreign minister, revealed an interest by the armed force for an “anti-drone dome”, without however, giving more details.
Συζητάμε με τις ΗΠΑ για τον κοινό σχεδιασμό και την συμπαραγωγή των φρεγατών νέας γενιάς Constellation.
Ήδη, παρελήφθη από το Γενικό Επιτελείο Ναυτικού επιστολή του Ναυτικού των ΗΠΑ, καταρχήν αποδοχής του ενδιαφέροντος της Ελλάδας για τον σχεδιασμό και τη συμπαραγωγή έως 7 νέων… pic.twitter.com/34VKkEvd0X
— Nikos Dendias (@NikosDendias) January 29, 2024