NEWS

US frigate deal with Greece touted

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Washington’s decision to back the US Navy frigate proposal submitted to the Hellenic Navy was reflected on Wednesday in statements made by senior US Embassy officials in Athens to Kathimerini.

The remarks are of particular importance given their timing, just 24 hours before the Hellenic Navy presents its assessment of the frigate proposals it has received from seven countries to the Defense Ministry and to Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. 

A key element of the statements by the American officials is the clear indication that the US-backed proposal is the only one with the characteristics of an intergovernmental agreement.

According to this proposal, the first HFF-type (Hellenic Navy Future Frigate) will be built at the Italian shipyard of Fincantieri by Lockheed Martin. 

The officials stressed that this is a platform that has also been chosen by Saudi Arabia for the modernization of its own navy. 

Tellingly, the same officials insisted that “we are the only ones who offer a real boat. Everything else is on paper.”

Regarding the issue of an interim solution until the HFF-type is delivered, they stressed that there is a list of options through the EDA (Excess Defense Articles) of the US Armed Forces, noting that Greece has a long history of accepting surplus material from the US.

At the same time, another top US Embassy official clarified that the US-Turkey relationship is not a factor in the US Navy’s offer of this proposal in any way.

The official emphasized that the US sees Greece as a pillar of stability in the region and is therefore committed to deepening defense cooperation, while adding that the relationship in the field of security is not limited to military equipment.

The commitment, he said, is to a long-term partnership, based on common strategic interests and values ​​that have united the two countries for 200 years.