Greece to lease two French frigates as tensions with Turkey rise
Greece is to lease two French-made FREMM class frigates in the coming months to develop Greek naval capabilities as tensions increase with Turkey in the Aegean and eastern Mediterranean seas, Greek newspaper Kathimerini said.
The frigates, probably FS Languedoc and FS Aquitaine, are expected to be inducted into the Greek Navy by August with the aim of getting them operational as soon as possible.
The decision to transfer the two frigates to Greece on a five-year lease is a firm message of support from France, one of the most advanced military powers in Europe, the newspaper said.
At the end of the five-year lease for the FREMM frigates, Greece will take delivery of its first Belharra class frigates, the latest to be made in France. Greece plans to purchase of two or four Belharra frigates as well as Exocet anti-ship missiles.
French-made FREMM frigates are equipped with MdCN cruise missiles, Aster 15 air defence missiles and Exocet MM40 block III anti-ship missiles.
French FREMM frigates participated in strikes on Syrian chemical sites on April 13. FS Languedoc launched three MdCN cruise missiles from a range of 1,000 km. It was the inaugural combat use of the McDN land attack missile and demonstrated France’s deep strike capability.