French FREMM frigate Lorraine conducts drills with Greece Navy's F-16 aircraft

According to information published by the Greek MoD on April 14, 2023, Greek military units conducted a joint exercise with the French frigate FS Lorraine as part of the military cooperation between Greece and France.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 Hydra class frigate Psara and French FREMM frigate Lorraine. (Picture source: Greek MoD)

The exercise, called PASSEX (Passing Exercise), involved the Hydra class frigate Psara and two F-16 fighter aircraft, and took place in the wider southern Cretan sea area.

During the exercise, tasks related to tactical image composition and exchange, communication, electronic warfare, progressive movements, and air defense exercises (ADEX) were executed.

This joint exercise is part of the implementation of the "Guidelines for the Upgrade of the Greek-French Military Cooperation," signed by the Chief of the Hellenic National Defense General Staff, General Konstantinos Floros, and the Chief of the French Armed Forces Joint Staff, General Thierry Burkhard, during his official visit to the Hellenic National Defense General Staff on January 21, 2022. The exercise contributed to increasing the operational readiness and interoperability of the participating forces.

About Psara

The Hydra-class frigate is a type of naval vessel that has a displacement of 3,350 tons and measures 117 meters (383.9 feet) in length, 14.8 meters (48.6 feet) in beam, and 6 meters (19.7 feet) in draft.

Its propulsion system consists of two shaft CODOG (Combined Diesel or Gas) with controllable pitch propellers, which are powered by two General Electric LM2500 gas turbines with a total output of 60,656 horsepower (45,231 kilowatts), as well as two MTU 20V 956 diesel engines generating 10,040 horsepower (7,490 kilowatts).

The Hydra-class frigate has a maximum speed of 31 knots (57 kilometers per hour) and a range of 4,100 nautical miles (7,600 kilometers or 4,700 miles) at a speed of 16 knots (30 kilometers per hour) when using its diesel engines. She has a complement of 173 personnel.

The frigate is equipped with a variety of sensors and processing systems, including the Signaal MW08 air search radar, Signaal DA08 air surface radar, two Signaal STIR fire control radar, Racal Decca 2690 BT navigation radar, Raytheon SQS-56/DE 1160 hull-mounted and VDS sonar, SLQ-25 Nixie torpedo decoy, Mk XII Mod 4 IFF radar, two Signaal Mk 73 Mod 1 radar for ESSM, and the Signaal STACOS Mod 2 combat data system.

It also has a SAR-8 IR searcher and electronic warfare equipment and decoys such as the Argo AR 700 ESM system, Telegon 10 ESM system, Argo APECS II ECM system, and four SCLAR decoy launchers.

For armament, the Hydra-class frigate has one Mk 45 Mod 2A main gun, two Mk15 Phalanx 20 millimeter Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWS), two Mk141 4 × 8 Harpoon missile launchers, a Mk 48 Mod 2 vertical launcher for 16 × RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles (ESSM), and two Mk32 Mod 5 324 millimeter (13 inch) torpedo tubes for Mk46 torpedoes. She can carry and operate one Sikorsky S-70B-6 Aegean Hawk helicopter, with a dedicated hangar on board.