U.S. Approves $9.5B Sale of Multi-Mission Surface Combatant Ships, MEKO Modernization to Greece

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  • 04:25 AM, December 11, 2021
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U.S. Approves $9.5B Sale of Multi-Mission Surface Combatant Ships, MEKO Modernization to Greece
Multi-Mission Surface Combatant ship: Lockheed Martin image

The Hellenic Navy could soon finalize a $6.9 billion deal for four Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) ships besides another $2.5 billion contract for MEKO-class frigate modernization, now that the United States has given the go-ahead.

Both these acquisitions will be awarded to the winner of an international competition for Hellenic Navy (HN) frigate modernization program.

Greece plans to acquire four MMSC ships that are similar to the 370-plus-foot-long Littoral Combat Ships used by the U.S. Navy; five COMBATSS-21 Combat Management Systems; five Vertical Launch Systems (VLS); 200 Rolling Airframe Missiles (RAM) and related equipment and support. The Pentagon said Lockheed Martin was the prime contractor for the ships.

“The proposed sale will improve Greece’s capability to meet current and future threats by providing an effective combatant deterrent capability to protect maritime interests and infrastructure in support of its strategic location on NATO’s southern flank. This acquisition, which will be awarded to the winner of an international competition for Hellenic Navy (HN) frigate modernization, will enhance stability and maritime security in the Eastern Mediterranean region and contribute to security and strategic objectives of NATO and the United States. Greece contributes to NATO operations in Kosovo, as well as to counterterrorism and counter-piracy maritime efforts,” the Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) said.

The deal follows a September agreement where Greece said it would buy French frigates worth about $3.5 billion.

Earlier, in March, Lockheed Martin said the MMSC ships could be produced in Greece. These warships are interoperable with MH-60R helicopters and modernized MEKO-class frigates. “If a Navy needs more anti-air or anti-submarine capabilities, the ship’s design can be modified to meet those needs. It can truly be a custom ship for the Hellenic Navy. MMSC is capable of carrying weapons that will be a true game-changer for Greece. The U.S. Navy has already invested in significant capabilities for its fleet, and the Hellenic Navy will benefit from a variety of weapon systems and sensors already integrated into MMSC,” the company had said.

The MEKO upgrade project includes eight Close-in Weapon Systems (CIWS) Phalanx upgrade kits; four MK 45, 5-inch 54 caliber gun overhauls; four MK 49 Guided Missile Launcher Systems; four COMBATSS-21 Combat Management Systems; and four AN/SQS-56 Sonar overhauls. Raytheon Technologies, Lockheed and BAE Systems are the prime contractors for this sale.

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