S – Faced with European challengers who propose to sell Greece more warships as part of a growing naval and military arsenal against provocations from Turkey, the American defense company Lockheed Martin has revised its offer.
The New Democracy government is due to make a decision on new frigates and modernize existing ships by the end of the year, which has resulted in fierce competition among Greece’s allies.
In addition to concerns about Turkey’s violation of Greece’s waters – and airspace – there are also concerns about the growing presence of Russian submarines in the Mediterranean and migrants from Africa, a said Defense News.
The Hellenic Navy wants to purchase four new frigates, improve the combat capability of its four current MEKO 200 Hydra-class frigates and receive some sort of interim capability to operate in the meantime, the report adds.
Lockheed is working with the US Navy to try to win the offer and the site said the US side believes it has the best deal because of the benefits of its Aegis combat system and that Greek companies are doing most of the work. construction.
“One of the great advantages of the US offer, over all other offers, is that it is done through the US government’s foreign military sales process. Greece has handled some 2,000 cases of foreign military sales with the United States. It’s a very well established process, it’s a very transparent process, ”said Jon Rambeau, vice president and general manager of Lockheed for the Integrated Warfare Systems and Sensors business line. to place.
Five other bids from European shipbuilders still appear to be in the running, but he said Lockheed’s proposal is the only one that is part of an official foreign military sales program, with written cost and time guarantees.
In June, Naval News reported that Greece had named the six nominations to its shortlist: the Damen of the Netherlands; the French naval group; the Italian Fincantieri; the Babcock of the United Kingdom; Blohm + Voss in Germany and Lockheed.
Rambeau said those offers received an initial ranking from Greek officials, but that order was not shared with industry.
GUARANTEES VIEW DIFFERENCE
But he said if the US team won, the US Navy would act as “Greece’s money custodian” and “contract with Lockheed Martin, and they would negotiate with us as hard as if they were providing. that to the US government. And at the end of the day, if there is any money left in this case, by law, the United States will have to return that money to Greece. “
The Greek military has a half-century of history with the U.S. defense provider and Joe DePietro, vice president and general manager of naval combat systems and missile defense, told the site in June that Greece needed ‘improved anti-submarine warfare and an expanded area. air defense capabilities.
Regarding the modernization of the MEKO frigates, Lockheed proposes to install an Aegis-based combat system that would integrate the ships of the 1990s with new frigates, a fleet of MH-60R helicopters, the F-16s of the Hellenic Air Force and more.
Rambeau said the possibility of linking through a network with the rest of Greece’s existing and future aircraft and weapon systems “has been a consistent theme when we think of upgrades.”
The US Navy would be the one offering the interim solution, likely a few decommissioned ships from the service that could be temporarily handed over to Greece, until MEKO’s upgrades are complete, the report adds.
Lockheed has discussed with the Skaramangas shipyard in Greece working together to build some of the four new frigates there, investments in facilities for the frigate program and other work.
In August, unidentified analysts told the Breaking Defense news site it was an arms race to be the supplier with a decision expected in the fall as Greece and Turkey backed down during in the summer to avoid scaring tourists.
The Greeks “want to make the most of it… and they have demands, and they are tough,” said Guy Stitt, president of AMI International, a naval analysis company that tracks and analyzes ship purchases in dozens. of country.