Naval Group’s planned Belharra frigate, shown as concept art released by the company, is being developed for the French navy and the export market. (Image courtesy of Naval Group)
PARIS — Greek Defense Minister Niko Panagiotopoulos and his French counterpart Florence Parly have signed a letter of intent to open discussions for Greece to procure two defense and intervention frigates, also known as Belharra, worth some €750 million apiece and built by France’s Naval Group.
Parly announced the agreement on her Twitter account last week saying, “France has signed a letter of intent with Greece on its purchase of two defense and intervention frigates.”
Speaking to the media after his meeting in Paris, Panagiotopoulos said there was still “a long way to go” before the final configuration of the frigates for Greece is agreed, which signals that they are not likely to be identical to the ones being built by France’s Naval Group for the French navy.
The Belharra was designed for the French sea service, which has ordered five copies. The steel cut for the first of the five ships will take place on Oct. 23 with delivery of the first scheduled for 2023.