The Greek Navy will be receiving two French FREMM frigates that will be incorporated in its fleet by this summer, following a government-to-government leasing agreement.
Alternate Defence Minister Fotis Kouvelis said the frigates will be delivered and sailing in the Greek seas, fully equipped, by August.
Kouvelis said that at a later date Greece will acquire a super-advanced technology Belh@rra frigate, which is suitable for air, sea, submarine, and asymmetrical warfare operations.
Kouvelis said that Greece is not in a position to pursue an arms race, but that it will upgrade its deterrent power.
He noted that the frigate deal has been in the making for some time, as the negotiations began in January.
“The upgrading of our fighter jets must go forward, but this does not constitute participation in an arms race,” he said.
The acquisition of the frigates from a major European military power is considered a strong message to Ankara, which is pursuing military escalation in the Aegean.
In a letter to PM Alexis Tsipras, French President Emmnauel Macron cited the complex geopolitical environment in which Greece must operate.