The Hellenic Navy ordered four Papanikolis Type
214 submarines from Germany, with the lead ship expected
to be delivered soon. Class U 214 submarines are based on construction
principles known from U 209. But U 214 was improved by incorporating
the innovations of U 212A class, produced for the German Navy,
principally the unique air-independent fuel-cell propulsion
system. This provides extremely increased underwater endurance.
In February 2000 the Hellenic Navy was the first foreign navy
to order fuel-celled U 214 submarines. Greece is already operating
eight type 209 submarines; three of them are being refitted
with air independent propulsion (AIP) systems, under the Neptune
II program. The upgrading program is conducted by the Hellenic
Shipyards. Type 214 submarines for the Hellenic Navy will be
armed with the WASS (Whitehead Alenia Sistemi Subaquei) Black
Shark heavyweight torpedo. The Black Shark is a dual purpose,
wire-guided torpedo which is fitted with Astra active / passive
acoustic head and a multi-target guidance and control unit incorporating
a counter-countermeasures system. It has an electrical propulsion
system based on a silver oxide and aluminum battery.
The leading European shipbuilders were prospecting on the new
air defense frigate program and its armament suite. These included
the German Blohm & Voss, one of the leading contenders for
the program, the Dutch Royal Schlede, the producer of the S
class frigates, currently in Greek service, and French shipbuilder
Armaris, which has proposed Greece to participate in the Franco-Italian
FREMM AAW Frigate program. The FREMM is in production for the
French and Italian Navies.
While Germany has established its foothold in Greece, producing
submarines and investing in local shipbuilding infrastructure,
the French consortium has yet to penetrate the local market.
Both Armaris and Royal Schelde are also pursuing the Hellenic
Navy command and landing support vessel, with platforms previously
produced for French, Italian and Dutch navies. As decision on
the platform is yet to be made, significant effort is made by
the producers of combat systems, primarily air defense missiles,
which will be the primary weapons for the new frigates.
Among the naval systems presented by the Russians were the
Zubr air-cushion amphibious landing crafts, and the smaller,
Project 12061 Murena landing assault air cushion craft. The
manufacturer claims that joint employment of the two vessels
increases combat manoeuvrability and survivability of naval
forces. Russia is also offering its diesel electric powered
missile carrying submarines. Two versions are currently offered.
Amur-1650 and Amur-950 class submarines. Both can be equipped
with the Club submarine-launched
cruise missiles. These missiles can be deployed from surface
ships (Club N) and submarines (Club S) targeting strategic naval
or land-based, radar definable targets which can be defined
by their radar signature.