France ready to offer Greece two ships free of charge

According to information published by Greek City Times on March 23, 2021, France has offered to give the Greek navy two first-class frigates, Cassard-class anti-air frigate Jean Bart (D615) and the Latouche-Tréville (D646), Georges Leygues class anti-submarine destroyer, free of charge.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 French frigate Jean Bart D615 (Picture source: Sea Forces)

The French Navy will hand over these two vessels if Athens chooses France through its international call for tenders to build new frigates for the Greek Navy. Indeed, Greek Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos also included in his tender for two used ships that are “ready” and “in good condition” for temporary use.

This will be “an intermediate solution” while awaiting the commissioning of the new frigates which will take seven or eight years to construct.

The Greek navy, which went to examine the two frigates, was apparently surprised by the good condition of the two ships.

The Cassard class (Type F70 AA) is a class of anti-air warfare destroyers of the French Navy. The class is an air defence variant of the Georges Leygues class. The two classes have a different armament and propulsion system mounted on an identical hull. Their primary role is to provide air cover for a fleet, an aeronaval group, a convoy & a littoral point. Their secondary role is to manage air assets coordination & aircraft control for the force. They can also be used for research, identification or presence missions. Both ships are assigned to the Force d'Action Navale.

The Cassard class is powered by four SEMT Pielstick 18 PA6V 280 BTC diesels creating a sustained 43,200 hp (32,200 kW) driving two shafts. This gives the ships a maximum speed of 29.5 kn (54.6 km/h; 33.9 mph) and a range of 8,000 nmi (15,000 km; 9,200 mi) at 17 kn (31 km/h; 20 mph). The SEMT Pielstick diesels are capable of double super-charging. The engines are placed upon flexible mountings reducing the noise signature of the ship.

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