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France to propose Belh@rra Intermediate Size Frigate to Hellenic Navy.

| 2021

According to information published by the French Website Zone Militaire Opex360 on January 25, 2021, the French defense industry could propose a modified version of its Belh@rra FTI (Frégates de taille intermédiaire - Intermediate Size Frigate) to Hellenic Navy armed with naval cruise missiles (MdCn) in addition to the 8 Exocet MM40B3C anti-ship missile, 16 Aster 15/30 surface-to-air missiles, MU 90 torpedoes, one 76mm naval gun and the two remotely-operated weapon station armed with 25mm automatic cannon.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Artist rendering Belh@rra FTI Frégates de taille intermédiaire - Intermediate Size Frigate. (Picture source Naval Group)

Greece has requested a frigate that will have the capability to conduct land attack using cruise missiles. To respond to the request of the Hellenic Navy, Lockheed-Martin has proposed to sale four MMSC (Multi-Mission Surface Combatant) frigates. The ship can be armed with two Harpoon shipboard launchers with eight RGM-84 Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles, one MK-15 Mod 31 SeaRAM close-in weapon system (CIWS) with 11-cell RIM 116C Block II Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAMs), a 57mm Mk110 deck gun and a medium-caliber rapid-fire gun.

The FTI is a French navy program to design and create a planned class of frigates. At the moment, the program consists of five ships, with commissioning planned from 2023 onwards. The export variant is designated BELH@RRA frigate.

The five FTI BELH@RRA frigates will be built by the French companies Naval Group and Thales. In April 2017, the French Defense Ministry announced the attribution to DCNS now Naval Group, a contract for the development and construction of five intermediate-size frigates (FTIs) for the French Navy. The steel-cutting ceremony of the first FDI frigate was held in October 2019.

The BELH@RRA frigates will be able to conduct a wide range of missions such as anti-surface warfare, anti-submarine warfare, anti-aircraft warfare, patrol, maritime security, control of exclusive economic zone (EEZ), asymmetric warfare, and Special Forces activities.

The BELH@RRA frigates will have a length of 122 m, a beam of 17.7 m, and a displacement of 4,460 tons. The ship will have a crew of 110 people as well as an air crew detachment of approximately 15 people. She will also have a flight deck and one hangar to accommodate one unmanned VTOL (Vertical Take-Off and Landing) aircraft or one NH-90 naval helicopter.

The BELH@RRA frigate can be armed with one Oto Melara 76mm Super Rapid gun (mounted in stealth cupola), two 20 mm remotely operated automatic cannons, 8 Exocet MM-40 Block 3 anti-ship, two Sylver A50 8-cell VLS (Vertical Launching System) for MBDA Aster 15/30 surface-to-air missiles and two dual torpedo tubes with EuroTorp MU90 Impact torpedoes.

The BELH@RRA frigate will be powered by a combined diesel and diesel (CODAD) propulsion system. She will have the capability to reach a top speed of 27 knots (50.0 km/h) with a maximum cruising range of 5,000 nmi (9,300 km) at 15 knots (27.8 km/h).

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