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Naval Group begins construction of 3rd Greek FDI frigate.

| Naval News Navy 2024

According to a PR published by Naval Group on April 23, 2024, the first block of the Hellenic Ship (HS) Formion, the third Defense and Intervention Frigate (FDI) intended for the Hellenic Navy, was laid at its Lorient shipyard.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Keel laying ceremony of the third FDI frigate. (Picture source: Naval Group)

This event marks a key phase in the construction process of the vessel, symbolizing the commencement of its assembly. The keel laying ceremony underscores the ongoing industrial collaboration between France and Greece, as demonstrated by the delivery of several pre-fabricated hull blocks from Salamis Shipyards in Greece, following a significant transfer of technology from Naval Group. These components are currently being integrated with other sections of HS Formion in Lorient.

Progress on the FDI program continues, with notable developments on other ships in the series. HS Kimon was launched in October 2023, followed by the installation of its Platform Systems Integration Module (PSIM) in November, and harbor trials began in early March, including the powering up of the ship's electrical distribution system.

By the end of March, the Combat Management System (CMS) was activated, incorporating features tailored for the Hellenic Navy. The first 2 Aster 30 Vertical Launch Systems were installed in early April. The remainder of 2024 will see significant milestones, including HS Kimon’s initial sea trials and the launch of HS Nearchos.

For HS Nearchos, the PSIM is undergoing a 5-month shore-based testing phase, after which it will be installed on the vessel shortly after its launch. The PSIM for HS Formion is currently being outfitted, with cabling and equipment installation set to begin soon. The final hull block is under construction at Salamis Shipyards and is expected to be completed by July. All three frigates are scheduled for delivery between 2025 and 2026.

Technical data

The FDI frigate is heavily armed, featuring MBDA Exocet MM40 B3C anti-surface missiles, Aster anti-air missiles, RAM missiles, MU90 anti-submarine torpedoes, and conventional artillery. It is equipped to accommodate a helicopter and can deploy an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV).

Technical specifications of the frigate include a displacement of 4,500 tons, a length of approximately 122 meters, a width of 18 meters, and a maximum speed of 27 knots. The frigate also features aviation facilities capable of supporting a 10-ton class helicopter and a vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) UAV, complemented by a robust armament array that includes 32 Aster missiles, 8 Exocet MM40 B3C missiles, RAM missiles, MU90 torpedoes, a 76 mm gun, 4 torpedo tubes, and CANTO countermeasures, all developed to enhance its defensive and operational capabilities.

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