Defence has moved forward on a possible sale of the Adelaide class FFG frigates to Greece, although the Department is keeping its cards close as alleged American pressure mounts for a deal.
Greece is urgently seeking new frigates to patrol and protect gas fields around Cyprus amid growing tensions with Turkey. Ankara has previously used warships to prevent an Italian company from drilling in the area.
High-ranking officers from the Greek Navy were hosted on-board HMAS Newcastle as it was docked in Singapore during Exercise Indo-Pacific Endeavour in May. Sources in Greece have indicated the officers were ‘not satisfied’ with the condition of the ship and have concerns about the availability of spare parts, although ADM was unable to confirm this with Defence.
When asked about the purpose of the Greek visit on-board HMAS Newcastle, a Defence spokesperson gave the following answer: “HMAS Newcastle hosted numerous international guests, including representatives from the Greek Government, in Singapore as part of the very successful Indo-Pacific Endeavour 19 program.”
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