Talking to Naval News, Laurent Mourre, Vice President of Sales for Europe and North America, explained that Greece is “very interested” in the Belharra / FDI (Frégate de Défense et d’Intervention), the next generation of frigate for the French Navy (Marine Nationale).
Mourre reminded us that back in January 2009, Greece announced the beginning of exclusive talks with France for the potential procurement of 6 multi-missions frigates. This contract never came into effect because of the economic crisis that struck Greece shortly after. In Mourre’s opinion, France and Greece re-started Frigate discussions a few months ago as a natural follow up to the initial contract that never materialized.
A major partnership
The government to government talks consist in much more than the mere procurement of vessels. Naval News learned that what is being offered to Greece is a partnership in which the Hellenic Navy would effectively join the French FTI program, managed by the French Armament General Directorate or DGA (ed. note: While the French Navy change the future frigate’s designation from FTI [Fregate de Taille Intermediaire] to FDI, the program management team at DGA kept the original “FTI” name).
This plan is very reminiscent of the first “French FMS case”, already successfully experimented in the land defense sector (CAMO program where the Belgian Army joined a French Army program for armored combat vehicles).
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