ΑΤΗΕΝS — Greece's 2.9-billion euro ($3.37 billion) deal with France to buy three frigate warships and an option for a fourth has seen more than 100 Greek companies vying to get a piece of subcontracts.
They have contacted France’s Naval Group, which is overseeing the project to build the ships for Hellenic Navy which will take part, the Greek businesses seeing a potential bonanza if they can win work awards.
Greece had indicated it wanted Greek companies to be involved to finance the Hellenic Navy’s shipbuilding program and the French group was scouring the market to identify them, said Kathimerini, reporting that a task force has made contacts with more than 70.
Those are said to include METKA, Space Hellas, Akmon, Stelma, Miltech, Prisma, Thales Hellas, Terra Spatium and Hydrus Engineering although it's premature for now as the deal so far is a cooperation memorandum and not a contract yet.
Naval Group has called the deal the Project of Greek Industrial Participation and has had agents in Greece since May although it was just now decided to go with the French after the US defense contractor Lockheed had made a bid as well.
The French company said its objective is “to strengthen the in-depth surveying and identification of the capacities of the Greek industry, as well as to prepare the participation of industrial partners in the frigates program,” the report said.
The agreement includes the weapon systems, and it was signed in Paris to include weapons manufacturer MBDA and the Follow-On Support for a period of time that has not yet been defined but is expected to last five years.
Originally the project even provided for the possible construction of some of the frigates in Greek shipyards but that hasn't materialized so far, indicating that the scope of cooperation with Greek companies will be less than hoped.
Besides the frigates program, Naval Group “seeks to support the development of future capacities of the Hellenic Navy through research and development projects in cooperation with Greek firms, universities and research institutes,” it added.