The signing of the new illegal agreement between Ankara and the transitional government of Libya, and Turkey’s intention to implement it immediately, seems to have rung a “bell” in Athens.
The escalation of Turkish provocation with almost all the crisis scenarios studied by the Greek Staff referring to the maritime and island environment seems to lead the government to thoughts of activating the procedures for the corvette acquisition program which had been “frozen” mainly due to the fiscal “tight”.
The signing of the new illegal agreement between Ankara and the transitional government of Libya and the intention of Turkey to implement it immediately seems to have rung a “bell” in Athens in combination with the constant pressure of the Naval Staff to speed up all the programs of reinforcement of the Fleet.
After all, since the middle of the summer, the file with the Admirals’ final proposals for the corvette program has been in the hands of the political leadership and Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis. With the three proposals for Doha from Italy’s Fincantieri, Gowind from France’s Naval Group and Sigma from Holland’s Damen being their choices. As Newpost had reported before it was decided to postpone the execution of the corvette program at the beginning of September, the Italian proposal had a slight advantage since Doha also fully covers the prerequisites of the Naval Staff, while Fincantieri’s intention is to build all the ships in its shipyards Elefsina. And given the government’s desire to run the consolidation program immediately, the overall “package” was particularly attractive.
In addition, a possible agreement with the Italians would also have a geostrategic “stamp”, since Athens wishes to strengthen relations with Rome, which would go as far as signing a defense agreement. The Italian elections, however, seem to have been an inhibiting factor. However, today’s announcement by the Italian company to sign an agreement with Greek companies in order to undertake a construction project in the event that Fincantieri finally wins the “naval battle” for the corvettes is an example of the Italians’ willingness to come back strongly to support their proposal. However, the issue of the Elefsina shipyards still remains a “thorn” since the data so far show that the road to recovery is still far away. However, it remains a big “bet” for the government, especially in view of the upcoming elections.
However, in contrast to the shipyards of Elefsina, the developments in those of Skaramangas are characterized as particularly encouraging, with the shipowner Giorgos Prokopiou having already settled almost all outstanding issues and now it will be a matter of a few months for full control to be taken over. The French of the Naval Group have already held discussions with the Scaramaga shipyard in order to take over their construction in the event that they dominate the competition for the corvettes.
But Skaramagas seems to be a very strong candidate for the modernization program of the four HYDRA-class MEKO frigates. After all, the MEKO program has already been placed at the top of the priorities and remains there regardless of whether there are developments that will also lead to the corvette market. In any case, everything seems to remain open with the fluid geopolitical landscape easily changing the facts since no one can confidently predict the picture in the coming months. And it is only a given that the consistently high intensity that Ankara “cultivates” remains.