Greece To Purchase American Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) Frigates

An artist impression of Royal Saudi Navy's multi-mission surface combatant (MMSC) and MH-60R anti-submarine warfare helicopter. Photo courtesy Lockheed Martin.

According to Greek newspaper Ekathimerini, the Hellenic (Greek) Navy would like to purchase four American Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) frigates.

The MMSC is a tailored littoral combat ship variant being built by American Company Lockheed Martin for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia through the U.S. Navy’s Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program.


Greece could purchase four MMSC frigates, the upgrade of four MEKO-type frigates, intermediate solution ships, and the participation of Greek shipyards in the development of the new American FFG(X) type frigate, learned GDC citing Ekathimerini English edition.


Regarding the new generation frigates, France and Greece were involved in exclusive negotiations for a while, for FDI type frigates. However, despite the signing of an LOI, it appears now that Greece is keeping its options open and is considering several designs.

Local sources told us that the designs likely being considered are:

  • Lockheed Martin with the MMSC
  • Naval Group with the FDI
  • TKMS with the MEKO A200
  • Damen with an unspecified design
  • Babcock with the Type 31


The procurement process doesn’t seem to be a “classic open tender” but rather government to government discussions with each party. This was confirmed to Naval News this week from French sources familiar with the matter.


The United States is also aggressively pitching Greece to purchase four American-made frigates, and will offer to co-produce three vessels in country, the top U.S. diplomat in Greece said.


“We think the United States is going to have a very competitive product to offer there with our frigates and the unique American proposal to co-produce three of those frigates here in Greece,” said Geoffrey Pyatt, the U.S. Ambassador to Greece, during a panel discussion hosted during the during the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual conference.


Should Greece decide to buy frigates from the United States, the U.S. government is proposing that three of them be co-produced by American-owned Onex Shipyards, based in the Greek island of Syros.


The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) is a lethal and highly manoeuvrable multi-mission surface combatant capable of littoral and open-ocean operation. It was designed from the keel up to confront modern maritime and economic security threats.


The MMSC takes the proven capabilities of the U.S. Littoral Combat Ship and the inherent flexibility of the Freedom-variant hull to meet the unique maritime requirements of international navies.

The Multi-Mission Surface Combatant has a range of 5,000 nautical miles and can reach speeds in excess of 30 knots. It will be based on the Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship’s 118-meter hull and it will utilize the same combined diesel and gas propulsion system.
With proven combat management system lineage, Lockheed Martin’s MMSC has the interoperability necessary for today’s joint and allied naval force manoeuvres. Paired with the world’s most advanced maritime helicopter, the MH-60R SEAHAWK, the MMSC will have a robust anti-submarine mission capability that is fully interoperable with the U.S. Navy and its coalition partners.

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The MMSC utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Software library. The MMSC integrated combat system solution leverages the domestic LCS integration of the 57mm Mk110 deck gun and SeaRAM, and expands multi-mission capability through integration of Over-The-Horizon surface-to-surface missiles, port and starboard 20 mm remote guns, a new fire control radar and a forward centerline 8 cell MK 41 Vertical Launch System equipped with RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles. The MMSC is also equipped with the AN/SLQ-25 Torpedo Defense system.


The FFG(X) type frigate now named Constellation-class is a multi-mission guided-missile frigate under development for the United States Navy as a follow-on to the modular littoral combat ship. he FFG(X) was announced in a United States Department of Defense Request For Information (RFI) on 10 July 2017. On 30 April 2020, it was announced that Fincantieri Marinette Marine had won the contract to build the new type of frigate.


About Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) Frigate


The average cost of the MMSC ships, the US Navy estimated, would be $835 million per ship. The MMSC is based on the U.S. Navy’s Freedom-variant Littoral Combat Ship’s 118-meter hull, and will utilize the same combined diesel and gas propulsion system. The vessel has a range of 5,000 nautical miles and can reach speeds in excess of 30 knots (34.5 mph). It utilizes the COMBATSS-21 Combat Management System, built from the Aegis Combat System Software library.


The MMSC integrated combat system solution leverages the domestic LCS integration of the 57mm Mk110 deck gun and SeaRAM, and expands multi-mission capability through integration of Over-The-Horizon surface-to-surface missiles, port and starboard 20 mm remote guns, a new fire control radar and a forward centerline 8 cell MK 41 Vertical Launch System equipped with RIM-162 Evolved Sea Sparrow Missiles.

The MMSC is also equipped with the AN/SLQ-25 Torpedo Defense system.
According to the U.S. Navy, the planned next-generation FFG(X) frigate will have “multi-mission capability to conduct air warfare, anti-submarine warfare, surface warfare, electronic warfare and information operations.” The ship would have at least 32 vertical launching system cells and an AEGIS-based combat system.

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