Netherlands agrees possible transfer of 2 M-Class frigates and 6 Alkmaar-class Minehunters to Greece

According to information published by the GDDIA on October 29, 2021, the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense General Directorate For Defense Investments And Armaments, in the margins of the NATO Conference of National Armaments Directors (CNAD), which was concluded on the 27th of October, has signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the Netherlands for the possible transfer of 2 Royal Netherlands Navy M-class also called Karel Doorman-class frigates and 6 Alkmaar-class Mine Counter Measures Vessels to the Hellenic Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Dutch Navy M-frigate Hr.Ms. Van Speijk F828. (Picture source Warshipsresearch Blog)

The Letter of Intent (LOI) was signed between the Hellenic GDDIA (General Directorate for Defense Investments And Armaments) General Director, Vice Adm. (rtd) Aristeidis Alexopoulos, and his Dutch counterpart, Director of Dutch Defense Materiel Organisation (DMO), Vice Admiral Arie Jan de Waard.

Currently, the Hellenic Navy already uses Elli-class frigates that were transferred to the Hellenic Navy in the 1990s and early 2000s. Six ships were modernized in 2004-2009.

The Hellenic Navy has launched the process for the procurement of four new multi-role frigates, while at the same time, it will modernize and upgrade four existing MEKO frigates. Mr. Mitsotakis left open, what these ships will be, and several countries are looking at the tender for their own shipyards or design bureaus. The new ships will also be accompanied by four MH-60R (Romeo) naval helicopters.

On September 2021, Navy Recognition has reported that Nikólaos Panayotópoulos, the Greek Minister of Defense, Pierre Eric Pommellet, CEO of Naval Group, and Eric Béranger, CEO of MBDA, signed a Memorandum of Understanding to open negotiations to provide the Hellenic Navy (HN) with three Defense and Intervention frigates (FDI HN) and their equipment as well as an optional additional frigate.

The Karel Doorman-class frigates are a series of eight multi-purpose vessels built for the Royal Netherlands Navy. The ships can be used in anti-submarine, anti-aircraft, or surface combat roles. Their primary surface armament consists of two quad RGM-84 Harpoon anti-ship launchers with a range of up to 120 kilometers (75 mi). Also available is an OTO Melara 76 mm gun, which has both anti-ship and anti-air capabilities.

Air defense of an M-class frigate is provided by an AIM-7 Sparrow medium-range semi-active radar homing air-to-air missile with a range of up to 14 kilometers Sixteen VLS cells are mounted on the port external bulkhead of the hangar. The Goalkeeper close-in weapon system provides close-range air defense and can fire up to four thousand 30 millimeters rounds per minute at a range of 200 to 3,000 meters.

For anti-submarine warfare, the M-class frigate is equipped with two twin torpedo launchers, firing Mark 46 torpedoes; and carries one Westland Lynx helicopter. The helicopter is also armed with 2 Mk 46 torpedoes and carries dipping sonar and forward looking infrared systems.

The Alkmaar class also named Tripartite class is a series of minehunters developed from an agreement between the navies of Belgium, France and the Netherlands. A total of 35 ships were constructed for the three navies. The minehunters were equipped with DUBM 21B sonar that could detect and classify ground and moored mines to a range of 80 meters. The ship was also equipped with Racal Decca 1229 radar. She carried two ECA PAP 104 remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs). Beginning in 2003, the Dutch Alkmaar-class minehunters were upgraded with improved electronics, including Atlas Elektronik INCMS combat data system, Thales 2022 Mk III hull-mounted sonar, Atlas Seafox Mine Identification and Disposal System and a Double Eagle Mk III Mod 1 ROV.