Greek Frigate ‘Hydra’ Enters Red Sea

Greek Frigate ‘Hydra’ Enters Red Sea - Merchant Navy Info - News

The Greek frigate Hydra is a member of the EU Naval Group. Within the framework of the CDSP Maritime Security Operation ASPIDES. Whose purpose is to ensure maritime security and, in particular. Freedom of navigation for commercial shipping in areas where many ships sail. Houthi attacks have targeted international commercial shipping since October 2023. As part of its defense mission, this operation will monitor the maritime situation. Accompany ships, and protect them from possible multi-domain attacks at sea.

Eunavfor Aspides 

It is the European version of the US-led Operation Prosperity Guardian. Launched by the European Council on February 19th, 2024, with an initial duration of one year. Operation ASPIDES will work closely with  EUNAVFOR ATALANTA to contribute to maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. As well as like-minded partners contributing to maritime security in the operational field. ASPIDES is a Greek-led operation with a Greek name (‘Aspides’ means ‘shield’ in Greek). The operation commander is Rear Admiral Vasileios Griparis. Based at EU-OHHQ in Larissa, Greece, and the force commander is Stefano. Aboard the Italian Navy’s Andrea Doria (Horizonte) class anti-aircraft destroyer Caio Duilio (D-554).

This is Major General Costantino. This naval group also includes the German Navy’s Saxony-class AAW frigate Hessian (F-221). Greek Defense Minister Nikolaos Dendias addressed the crew of the Hydra on Monday the 24th. An hour before departing from Salamis Naval Base. Photo from the Greek Ministry of Defense.  Greek Minister of Defense Nikolaos Dendias emphasized the importance of this operation. In a speech to the crew of the Hydra, made up of the finest naval personnel,  before setting sail for the Red Sea on Monday, February 24th. 

Hydra Frigate Upgrades 

The MEKO 200HN frigate is equipped with  Mk45 127mm guns, 8  Harpoon SSMs, 16  ESSM Block 1 SAMs, two triple torpedo tubes for Mk46 torpedoes, and two equipment phalanxes, depending on its size. Heavily armed compared to. CIWS,  S70 helicopter, and some machine guns. Based on the published photos, it can be seen that the Hydra frigate has undergone several modernizations and improvements to ensure operational readiness.

These upgrades include SAAB’s new R-ESM with her ELINT capabilities, which, according to Ptisi, is likely to be an SME-150 (the same manufacturer that HN has in some submarines). Due to the fact that it uses a similar sensor), it completely replaces the old one. One is an AR-700 installed in a hangar, rear RWS (the system in question is a SHARK 12.7mm manufactured by General Robotics, known in the Navy’s arsenal and used in the Agenor SOC).  Advanced communications and surveillance equipment, including C-UAS systems, CCTV, and UAS. 

The above-mentioned modernizations and additions testify to the great effort and attention that the Greek government paid to the safety of the crew and the success of operations. However, Hydra is the only ship in her class to receive these improvements, a distinction that stems from her important role in ASPIDES. Please note that the Hellenic Navy has been planning a major mid-term refurbishment (MLU) of this class since the late 2000s. However, this initiative had to be repeatedly postponed, mainly due to the impact of the sovereign debt crisis, which hit Greece hard. Although Greek authorities have been announcing the MLU (or at least partial modernization) of the ship for years, progress has been repeatedly hampered by delays. Unfortunately, there has been no significant progress with this program so far.

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