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Friday 7 June 2024

The new eyes of the Hellenic Coast Guard: Miltech Hellas SUR-20LRM and SUR-400HSM

Written by D-Mitch

MLT-SUR-400HSM on Sa'ar 4 OPV. Photo by D-Mitch.
This article discusses the latest development in electronic equipment installed on Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) patrol vessels. We will describe two new systems from Miltech Hellas, a Greek company renowned for equipping various Hellenic Navy (HN) and HCG ships and vessels with platform mounted electro-optical sensors, namely the TDR-10 (4 systems), TDR-10A (15 systems) and TDR-HR-300 (3 systems). For detailed information on which ships are equipped with each system, please refer to the links provided. The new sensors which are described in this article are the SUR-20LR, and the SUR-400HSM; both currently equip more than 50 vessels of the HCG, and all designed and produced by Miltech Hellas.

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Friday 31 May 2024

MLU for OPV Arkoi of the Hellenic Coast Guard

Written by D-Mitch

HCG Arkoi (050)
The sole Europatrol 250 Mk1 offshore patrol vessel (OPV) Arkoi of the Hellenic Coast Guard (HCG) was ordered in 1993 and delivered in November 1994, initially serving the Financial and Economic Crime Unit (SDOE) as A/L 50. In 2002, the vessel was transferred to the HCG and renamed HCG 050 Arkoi. The boat experienced severe technical problems due to the SDOE's inability to fully utilize and maintain it, resulting in long periods of immobility and limited use. Similarly, in HGC service, Arkoi was quickly immobilized and remained out of service for about ten years, mainly due to the difficulties in repairing the main engines and reducers. In 2014-15, the Greek shipowners Panos and Thanasis Laskaridis, oversaw the complete repair, maintenance, and reactivation of the Arkoi. The refurbishment was completed in December 2015, arriving at a critical time as the 300-ton patrol ship had been laid up for ten years. It was intended to operate primarily in the Eastern Aegean, where the HCG faced significant pressures from refugee and migrant flows.

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Thursday 11 April 2024

Frigate FDI HN LIGHT: a logical choice, for a powerful Greek Fleet!

Article by pro
Graphs by Aylont1

The FDI HN LIGHT concept. Graph by Aylont1
Following closely the efforts of the Hellenic Navy (HN) in recent years, after a period of inactivity due to the country's economic situation, we understand the difficulties this endeavor faces, with the main obstacle being cost. The author's perspective on resolving this challenging situation has remained consistent through social media channels. The main idea is that the Navy should focus on procuring surface units of adequate size, such as frigates, with equipment that meets the Navy's requirements as outlined in the informal competition of the corvette acquisition program. Moreover, this equipment should be offered by companies participating in the program. At the very least, it should be similar in quality. 

Thus, the Navy, with a larger-sized vessel instead of a corvette, can benefit from the relatively low cost of size increase. This is because the small value of the hull of the warship is mainly burdened by equipment, such as sensors, armament, and other equipment. Consequently, a larger vessel could offer all the advantages in terms of survival, operational range, autonomy, personnel comfort, and, of course, the development potential that a larger vessel offers.
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Sunday 31 March 2024

INFOGRAPHICS #64: PES 10714CO, the new light frigate of the Colombian Navy

Written by D-Mitch

Damen-Cotecmar PES 10714CO, the new
light frigate of the Colombian Navy

In this comprehensive post, I illustrate the equipment details of the Colombian Navy's new light frigate using graphical representations. Drawing from the latest insights sourced from and with invaluable assistance from Erich Saumeth Cadavid, an esteemed analyst and correspondent at infodefensa, Janes, and Mönch, we delve into the evolving construction progress and specifications of this new design for the program Plataforma Estratégica de Superficie (PES). The design is based on the proven design of the SIGMA 10514 multi-mission light frigate/corvette of Damen that was successfully constructed in other non-Damen shipyards, and serves with the Navies of Mexico and Indonesia. According to the Colombian MoD, Colombia selected Damen Shipyards as the technological ally because it obtained the best conditions in terms of effectiveness, cost and risk for the joint development of the contractual design of the frigate in Colombia. The PES programme calls for the local construction of up to five (5) frigates to replace the Colombian Navy's four ageing Almirante Padilla-class (FS1500) frigates, and its two Pohang-class corvettes that were acquired from the Republic of Korea Navy. 

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Wednesday 31 January 2024

INFOGRAPHICS #63: Hydra Class Upgrade Program

Infographic of a MEKO 200HN after the capability upgrade program.
Image by D-Mitch and @Aylont1
In April 2023, the Armaments Committee of the Greek Parliament has approved the implementation of a +€600 million modernization program (platform and mission systems) for the four Hydra-class (MEKO 200HN) frigates in order to extend their life by another 15-20 years. The program will be carried out by the consortium of TKMS and Thales (Thales Nederland) which were selected as the Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), at a Greek shipyard which the consortium will select. The upgrade program which is referred as “Capability Upgrade” and not MLU indicating a less extensive work, was expected to begin in 2024 and to last 7 years. Note that the overall Hydra capability upgrade program consists of a number of separate sub-programs such as the acquisition and integration of ESSM Block 2 SAM, the upgrade, overhaul and/or replacement of the engines (part of it has been already executed), the upgrade or overhaul of the mission and platform systems (the program that will be executed by TKMS and Thales), the upgrade of Phalanx CIWS to the latest configuration Block 1B Baseline 2 and the upgrade of the Mk45 main gun system.Other sub-programs might be also carried out such as the installation of two RWS, L-ESM system, R-ECM or C-UAV suite, and so on. There are indications that not all ships of the class will undergo upgrades; instead, a select 2-3 vessels may receive more extensive enhancements, while the remaining ship(s) will leverage spare parts sourced from the upgraded ones. Read more here.

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