Israel, Greece partnering to build new corvette vessel for Hellenic Navy

The ship, based on the design of Israel's Sa'ar 72 mini-corvette, will be built partially in Greece and partially in Israel.

Israel, Greece partnering to build new corvette vessel for Hellenic Navy (photo credit: THEMISTOCLES CLASS CORVETTE OFFICIAL WEBSITE)
Israel, Greece partnering to build new corvette vessel for Hellenic Navy
Greek ONEX Neorion Shipyards and Israel Shipyards have signed a cooperation agreement for the construction of next-generation corvette ships which will meet Athen’s needs for future naval warfare in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The agreement, which was signed during the recent visit by Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Israel on June 16, will see a Themistocles-class corvette be built on plans by Haifa-based Israel Shipyards.
According to local Greek media, there is a verbal agreement to build an additional six Themistocles-class corvettes in the near future. Naval News reported that the ship will be partially built in Israel by Israel Shipyards – which will be sharing the relevant know-how – and partially in Greece by ONEX shipyards.
Quoting a source at Israel Shipyards, the design of Themistocles is “basically the same design” of Israel’s Sa’ar 72 mini-corvettes but with modifications according to the needs of the Hellenic Navy.
The corvette can be used for open sea patrolling and surveillance operations, Maritime Sovereignty protection, Off-Shore facilities protection, EEZ protection, anti-terror/ smuggling/illegal activity interdiction, Search and Rescue operations in coordination with SAR Helicopters, participation in Naval combat operations, Fishing protection and control, and more.
With a total length of 72 meters and a full displacement of about 800 tons, it will be able to reach a speed of over 30 knots with extended endurance of 21 days and a range of 5,000 nautical miles. It will be staffed by a crew of 45 and be able to carry up to 20 special forces personnel.
A medium-sized marine helicopter will be able to operate from the ship, which will also support the deployment of special forces units.
The vessel will have state-of-the-art weapons and electronic systems that can be tailored to customer-specific requirements. It can accommodate advanced weapon configurations such as launchers for anti-missile defense missiles, surface-to-surface missile launchers, a 76 mm naval gun, remotely a controlled stabilized naval gun system up to 30 mm, a Command and Control system, ESM & ECM, advanced multi-function search radar, heavy machine guns – 0.5” / 7.62 mm, and an advanced day and night vision system.
“The new design of the Themistocles Corvette brings next-generation operational capabilities to future naval warfare,” read the website dedicated to the multipurpose vessel.
As tensions continue to escalate between Greece and Turkey, Athens has been working to strengthen its maritime capabilities. In May Israel’s Defense Ministry signed an agreement with the Hellenic Ministry of National Defense to lease several IAI Heron UAVs to Greece for border defense.
According to Greek media, the two drones will be used to bolster the country’s intelligence-gathering capabilities and will act as a deterrent to Turkey, which has deployed drones to the Evros region and the Aegean Sea, which borders the two countries.
"The great security relations between Israel and Greece are expanding. We see great importance in the choice made by Greece to equip its forces with an Israeli system, particularly during the global corona crisis,” said the Head of the International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT), Brig.-Gen. (Ret.) Yair Kulas said at the time.
“This is a clear expression of confidence in the capabilities and strength of the Israeli defense industry. We hope to sign additional agreements with Greece as well as other European partners, assisting them in addressing security challenges – in times of the corona pandemic and beyond.”

Tags IDF greece