Greece has removed the Spanish public shipyard Navantia from the competition for the renewal of the Helena Navy’s frigates, valued at about 5,000 million euros. In a meeting chaired last Saturday by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and attended by Defense Minister Nikolaos Panagiatopoulos and senior officials of his Ministry and Navy, it was agreed to ignore Navantia’s offer and continue negotiating the US (Lockheed Martin), France (Naval Group), the UK (Babcock) and the Netherlands (Damen) Germany (TKMS) and Italy (Fincatieri).
This is a surprising decision, given that the usual thing in this type of international competition is to pick a limited number of finalists and not ignore a single bid, and even more so when Navantia’s bid was officially presented just two weeks ago. The Spanish proposal included the construction of four F-110 frigates in Greece such as those designed for the Spanish Navy, through corresponding technology transfer, the modernization of four Hydra-class ships and the contribution of two light frigates as a “transitional solution”.
Sources in the Spanish shipyard public expressed “astonishment” at Athens’ decision. We have made a very strong and comprehensive proposal. The F-110 is a very powerful ship, and from what we know from our Greek interlocutors, it has sparked interest. In any case, Navantia is immersed in a very intense trade policy and the great potential of what will be the latest generation of the Spanish Navy’s frigate is being shown,” these sources claim.
Greek post Betsy and Diastema (Aviation and Space), the highest defense information specialist, last Saturday attributed the exclusion of Navantia’s bid to the Spanish government’s failure to support Greece in its conflict with Turkey, which last year was on the verge of an armed confrontation. . However, diplomatic sources assert that with the exception of France, which traditionally joined with Athens, other European countries (including Germany, which is still in competition for frigates) supported NATO’s efforts to avoid a clash between two allies.
Navantia has built an amphibious ship for the Turkish Navy (Anadolu L-400) and Spain maintains a Patriot missile battery on the Turkish-Syrian border, but the Greek authorities have not claimed these facts to the exclusion of the Spanish shipyard.