Next step the upgrade for “Lobsters” and the “silent nightmares” of the Aegean

The receipt of the 7th missile launcher VLACHAKOS puts on the table of discussions the next day of upgrading the comparative advantages of the Navy

by Christos Mazanitis

With the naming and inclusion in the Fleet last Thursday of the VLAHAKOS P-79 Missile Carrier, the seventh ROUSSEN class of the Super Vita type, in the Navy the discussion about the “tomorrow” of the 7 ships of the type as well as the 4+1 invisible submarines opened of the Navy.

The “Lobsters of the Aegean”, as is the nickname of the ROUSSEN Missiles, carry powerful weapon systems, which combined with the speeds of up to 35 knots, which they can develop, make them the absolute terror in the opposing defense.

On the one hand are the 8 Exocet Blk3 missiles it can launch, hitting surface targets at a range of up to 160 kilometers. Along with the 76mm / 62 Super Rapido bow gun and the 2 OTOBREDA 30mm stern guns and the GLMS RAM anti-missile system (CIWS) which carries 21 missiles, make it a lobster with fearsome resistance to air saturation attacks.

However, the specific types of ships, even though they are newly built, have a “sore” point. And that’s in radars and electronic warfare systems. When they were ordered in 2000, that is 22 years ago, they brought the cutting edge of technology. However, they are already beginning to be considered obsolete and the Navy has opened their upgrade package for good. It is not something that is going to be “closed” in the near future, but there are already some suggestions that seem to be the most appropriate.

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As for how this will be done, it will definitely not be the withdrawal of all the ships for upgrading but gradually, with “ROUSSEN” first and “BLACHAKOS” last.

The same will happen for the 4+1 submarines, the “silent nightmares” of the Aegean. These are the 4 PAPANIKOLIS class, type 214 plus one upgraded “OCEAN”.

In the meetings in the PN, some plans seem to have fallen on the table, which focus on the part of telecommunications, sonar and other electronic systems.

The big question that arises is whether their upgrade will give the Navy the supremacy it already enjoys in submarine operations over Turkey, which from 2023 will begin to gradually include its own Type 214 submarines after a related construction license that received from the Germans.

As experts on submarines explained to enikos.gr, the Turks receive their submarines based on the old systems that the Germans have given the relevant permits for, i.e. the same ones that the Greeks already have.

This implies that when the upgrade program of the Greek ones is completed, they will once again excel over the Turkish submarines, once again gaining the “on paper” advantage.

And the reason we say “on paper” is because the Turks do not mean that upon receiving them they will be able to directly conduct operations. These are special and complex in their operation means, which need about 2 years until their crews become familiar with them.

In addition, in the coming months the Navy will start receiving the “submarine killers”, the state-of-the-art MH60R – Romeo helicopters which are the best in the world for anti-submarine warfare operations.

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