Eyes Hellenic Navy’s Frigate Replacement
Babcock will give its comprehensive frigate design, build and support credentials an airing during DEFEA 2021 in Athens next week, as the company continues to engage Greek industry in support of a bid for the Hellenic Navy’s frigate modernisation programme.
Supported by the British government, Babcock has crafted a programme that includes an upgrade for the existing HYDRA-class frigates, an interim frigate capability and four ARROWHEAD 140 frigates. An associated industrial strategy would see the company support modernisation of Greek shipyard facilities, underpinned by partnering proposals with Greek industry to develop local workforces and transfer knowledge and technology within the wider domestic shipbuilding and ship repair supply chain – all undertaken as part of the company’s commitment to Greece.
Over the last three months, Babcock has engaged more than 100 suppliers and has continued its previous in–country supplier engagements. In all, one-to-one discussions have been held with over 20 Greek companies. These discussions, covering detailed scopes of supply, technical requirements, commercial processes and strategic alignment, are part of a coordinated programme of industry participation with Thales in the UK and MBDA UK, and are at an advanced stage, with supplier agreements expected imminently.
Babcock’s development of the ARROWHEAD 140 as the Royal Navy’s new Type 31 frigate, over a decade of design, build and support activity for the QUEEN ELIZABETH-class aircraft carrier, development of OPVs for the Irish Naval Service and a wide range of international projects for small to medium sized vessels all add to the credibility of its compelling case for Greece, the company believes. It will also outline its through-life support expertise, including its responsibility for Britain’s Type 23-class frigate life extension programme, and services to the Royal Australian Navy MEKO frigates, credentials that will enable a successful HYDRA-class upgrade and increased ship availability and readiness for both the Meko and the British interim frigate solution. In addition, the ARROWHEAD 140 offers a configuration for the Hellenic Navy that meets all of the capability requirements at a highly competitive cost.
“Babcock will bring a wide-ranging programme of technology transfer and focused support options to enable Greek industry to construct the ARROWHEAD 140 frigate in Greece. Our team [is] passionate about this project and we have first-class support from the UK government and our partners, alongside real enthusiasm from Greek industry to work with us should we be successful in our bid,” commented Babcock’s Chief Executive Marine, Will Erith.