The Times has reported here that HMS Monmouth and HMS Montrose, two Type 23 Frigates vessels, will be given to Greece as part of efforts to ‘sweeten the deal’ to sell the Greek Navy the Type 31 design.

“Two of Britain’s aged and retiring warships are to be offered to the Hellenic Navy to help Babcock International win a multibillion-pound deal with Greece to build new frigates and upgrade its fleet.”

You can read more from the original source here.

In March it was announced that Montrose as well as sister ship Monmouth would be decommissioned earlier than planned as part of defence’s Integrated Review. As of 2021, Montrose remained deployed East of Suez but was scheduled to return to the UK in 2022, five years earlier than previously planned. As for HMS Monmouth, the long laid-up Type 23 Frigate has now left the fleet leaving the Royal Navy with 12 frigates.

Frigate HMS Monmouth cut from Royal Navy fleet

What’s happening with Type 31?

Babcock are offering the Arrowhead 140 General Purpose Frigate, the design the Type 31 Frigate is based on, to the Hellenic Navy.

David Lockwood, Chief Executive Officer, of Babcock International has led a series of meetings in Greece with key industry figures, Government officials and supply chain companies as Babcock continues to build international interest in its Arrowhead 140 general purpose frigate and bid to deliver the Hellenic Navy’s new frigate modernisation programme.

According to an e-mail from the firm, a comprehensive programme of discussions were undertaken as Babcock reinforced the strengths of the offer made by the company and the UK Government to provide the Hellenic Navy with a Hydra Class upgrade programme, an interim frigate capability and four Babcock Arrowhead 140 frigates.

“The Arrowhead 140 has already been chosen by the UK Royal Navy for its Type 31 future frigate programme. The company is committed to supporting Greek industry to build and assemble the new frigates in Greece, reinvigorating the domestic supply chain, upgrading infrastructure, modernising domestic facilities, upskilling and growing local workforces and transferring knowledge and technology. Babcock officials have also been engaging with Greece-based companies interested in being part of its in-country supply chain and recently held a live online event in Athens, under the auspices of the Hellenic MoD Armaments Directorate.”

You can read more here.

Babcock pitch Type 31 Frigate design to Greece

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Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago

Appalling. The RN is desperate for escorts and we’re giving them away as deal sweeteners.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

They’ve retired, or are retiring though. Better than ending up as a target or scrap? And might we make more money in the T31 deal than a straight sale of surplus MoD kit?

farouk
farouk
1 month ago

Come on Dan,
The current Government can’t sell off (or in this case gift) military assets off fast enough. give it a few years and the PM will oversee the selling off of one of the carriers (probably after a multi million pound refit) for pennies, I wouldn’t be surprised if they sold off the designs to the Astute boats to the Chinese

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

I think you are getting carried away a bit there. The strategy apparantly is new assets for the UK which is a fair approach. Trying to get good designs adopted by friendly nations is a good thing and putting our old assets to good use presumably adding to the number of NATO active ships has to be a good thing.

Rob Young
Rob Young
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

To a NATO ally so they are still basically available for the defence of the West – and were out/going out of service with the RN anyway.

andy a
andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Not really they have been retired and one has been stripped bare already, the other is costing a fortune and is getting to the point it will need a tug to follow it.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  andy a

At no point would Montrose ever need a tug. She’s doing a sterling job. Monmouth was only stripped to speed up Lifex which I’m sure she’ll still get, not much use without it. Babcock won’t lose money on the RN cancellation of Lifex for Monmouth, it’ll simply be someone else paying the bill, and they will no doubt get refit for Montrose.

Andy a
Andy a
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

I did see some x engineering ratings on some of the hard worked t23 saying before life x work they had to limit speeds and how hard they pushed the ship, especially with shortages of spares due to just in time ordering

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  andy a

Montrose is fine…She also has a couple of new DGs in the FAMR with loads of life left on them.
As T23s go she is materially very sound. The fact that she is out and about and using the kit, not sat around with it switched off helps. Systems dont like being turned on and off all the time. If they are on , leave em running!

Mark B
Mark B
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Very true

Warren
Warren
1 month ago
Reply to  andy a

Maybe your mistaking these ships for Russian federation ships 🤔

Ross
Ross
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

I do understand that initial reaction to be honest. But we don’t have enough crew to man all our ships as is, plus they are both quite long in the tooth and would require significant investment for little return at this stage. Money better spent on the new escorts we are indeed in dire need of.
Plus at least this way they’ll be useful for our NATO allies Greece and might bring additional investment to the Type 31 program.

Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Ross

We do have enough Sailors. Recruitment is up by around 40%, retention is also up. Even BRNC Dartmouth and HMS Collingwood have been training new recruits due to HMS Raleigh being at capacity. All good news!

Graham Haxell
Graham Haxell
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Totally agree!

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Graham Haxell

Yep. The latest quarterly trained personell stats are availiable on MoD website.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Sorry ONS not mod.

Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Logical. Monmouth is already laid up and hasn’t been to sea for three years, and Montrose is due to be paid off anyway. If they can be further used in a less intensive way for service in the Hellenic Navy then why not? If it helps generates export orders for Type 31 then great!

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Chadwick

If it wasn’t Greece it would be Chile or Brazil at least for Montrose.

ACL
ACL
1 month ago
Reply to  David Steeper

Chile have First Right to refusal, that means, Chile don´t like another T-23…and Chile have too, the fist right to refusal the two halland M frigates.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

They are not sweeteners and they are not as the title infers being gifted, the article is poorly worded. The Greek Frigate modernisation program requires the bidders to offer an interim Frigate that can be brought into service quickly whilst the new hulls are being built and older hulls being retained upgraded. The only vessels the UK has available to meet that requirement are Type 23 and even then a pretty poor one as the hulls being made available will need significant work to make them ready and are little better in material state (or in the case Monmouth worse)… Read more »

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

The bidders here are Babcock, and they do not own Montrose or Monmouth. So they are effectively being gifted by the MOD in order to secure an order for Babcock, and I would imagine to promote/encourage sales of Sea Ceptor as Montrose already has it. Monmouth of course would have had Artisan Radar and Sea Ceptor fitted during LIFEX…..

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Indeed they are not owned by Babcock at the moment albeit I would guess they would be transferred to their ownership first prior to a pre delivery refit. My issue is the narrative that this is somehow a charitable action by the UK when in actuality an attempt to meet a KUR stipulated in the Greek Frigate program. In all likelihood these Type 23 will never end up in Greek service, I hate to be a downer but there are other superior bids that include interim ships in better material condition and in some cases newer (or in the case… Read more »

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

I think you are right. It appears there are much better offers on the table for Greece.

Berman W Mo
Berman W Mo
3 days ago
Reply to  Paul42

It was the same crap with the Perry class frigate in the United States Navy. After giving them away, they found they need escorts. So, they when through the expensive crap with the LCS before setting on the Italian FREMM derived Constellation class frigate.

Lee H
Lee H
1 month ago

HMS Monmouth will be a costly “challenge”.
HMS Montrose could quite literally sail to Greece and be re-equipped there – which would be a good trust and build exercise with the Greeks.
it will be interesting to see how RN sustains all its commitments. Number of hills is just one measure of fleet strength, getting and keeping vessels at sea is the one that matters.

Lee H
Lee H
1 month ago
Reply to  Lee H

Hills should be hulls (poxy autocorrect)

John Clark
John Clark
1 month ago
Reply to  Lee H

I know our Greek friends like a bargain, but knackered old T23’s, really?? They will both require serous engineering work and regular costly maintenance… Its like a builder trying to sell his 25 year old Sherpa van with a 200,000 miles on the clock and blown head gasket….

Last edited 1 month ago by John Clark
Order of the Ditch
Order of the Ditch
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Montrose is literally active as we speak.
Type 23 would help the Greeks until they receive new build vessels.
They could spend a few million on the vessels and still be quids in.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago

Regular maintenance would be a 4 week FTSP every 6 months. If they are docked prior to sending to Greece they wont need another docking for 4 years.
Montrose could go now.
Monmouth would need a serious overhaul.

Warren
Warren
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Hi Gunbuster
Am I right in thinking that although the type 23 is long in the tooth, it is still a capable as anything else out there?

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Hi John,

Not quite that bad as HMS Montrose has been through a LIFEX programme (minus the engine replacement I believe). Plus the Greeks probably do not expect anything shiny and new for their interim Frigates. The T23’s come with the more modern Artisan radar, for example, although whether this is still opperational on Monmouth is open to question.

Cheers CR

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

I suspect they are competitive with almost any adversaries they are likely to come up against, how good depends on the fit in Greek Service of course. But from our point of view a good investment for possible future benefit. Looking at the competitors for new ships the French offer looks pretty week (clearly thought their support to Greece may swing it over actual capability) the Fremm is very expensive though the Dutch proposal looks excellent and a decent price though much smaller than Arrowhead. It may depend on what is offered with the design, (it will have to up… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

FREMM is not very expensive, French complain that FDI that replaced FREMM in their portfolio and part of offer to Greece ended up more expensive.

The problem with this kind of old ship is that they have only 2 fire channels for their old Sea Wolf.

Supportive Bloke
Supportive Bloke
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Sea Wolf?? That was long since stripped out and replaced with Ceptor.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Errr.. MONTROSE has Ceptor.
I know this because I have been working on her on and off over the 3 years she has been working out here.
Yesterday I drove past her going to the USN Tico I am currently working on… Montrose still had Ceptor along with the 4.5, Harpoon, 30mm, Helo and all the other fun bits and bobs.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

My mistake, i thought she was with Sea Wolf. If that so i don’t see the reason to decom her.

AV
AV
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

Not quite, but yes a big difference between Montrose and Monmouth.

Andrew
Andrew
1 month ago
Reply to  John Clark

John,

if your hypothetical builder has ordered a nice shiner new transit van, and has to wait a while for delivery, I’m sure he’d be quite happy to be gifted two old vans that were more capable than his whilst waiting for his new one’s to be built and delivered…

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Lee H

The Hulls are alive with the sound of Music…”

ChariotRider
ChariotRider
1 month ago
Reply to  Lee H

Hi Lee,

I wonder if HMS Monmouth has been decommissioned from the RN to provide time for her to be restored to operational status in support of this offer? HMG providing proof of intend perhaps.

I am getting the impression that HMG / MoD really, really want to see the T31 / Arrowhead 140 be an international success.

This is a big change from not classifying the RFA’s as warships.

Cheers CR

Lee H
Lee H
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

Hi CR
Babcock MD said they had up to 5 deals on the table, this one would be a great one to start with – remember Liz TRUSS was over there (Greece) a couple of weeks ago which tells me this is part of a wider strategy (beyond the T31) with regards UK trade.
VFM, local construction and local weapon systems will be an important factor, lets see what happens with Sea Ceptor as well.
Cheers
Lee

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Lee H

I’d ask the British Museum to throw in the Elgin Marbles I’m sure that would get the deal over the line. Maybe if the Greeks were to waive the copyright they could 3D print a set for the BM and everyone’s happy.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

Actually there’s legs in that idea in the future at least, not to mention holographic projection Artificial or Augmented Reality potential. Well we are supposed to think outside the box.

Cymbeline
Cymbeline
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

It’s such a contentious issue in Greece and do we really need them? It would earn us so many brownie points. Time to do the right thing and get them back home.

farouk
farouk
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

I hear the comment :
“Do the right thing”
So often and yet it is only directed at the British by political pressure groups. when actually it isn’t because all that it does is open the door for an apology then reparations.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  farouk

It’s not the right thing. The Hellenic Republic is not the Delian League, no matter how much they pretend otherwise. The entire argument also assumes that the Elgins British History is somehow invalid and doesn’t count. Yet we also never hear calls for returns of other artifacts, like Venican artifacts looted from Byzantium (even though the Eastern Roman Empire has as much to do with the Hellenic Republic as ancient Athens ie not very much). So is there a statute of limitations on returning artifacts? Probably not, it’s just if you are British you should feel bad. Worth also noting… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Cymbeline

How about the Turks give back Constantinople instead?

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  ChariotRider

“I am getting the impression that HMG / MoD really, really want to see the T31 / Arrowhead 140 be an international success”
Brexit is focussing minds.
HMG industrial strategies to promote UK Ltd and create jobs, nationalisations, rejoining Boxer, C2 turret…
We live in interesting times.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago

Monmouth will no doubt go into Lifex, ensuring Babcock din’t lose out money wise on that, before being handed to Greeks, despite being badly needed by the RN. Montrose might need a refit, but not a major job. Babcock and Greece both benefit – we don’t.

Meirion x
Meirion x
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Will the tax payer foot the LIFEX bill, on Monmouth?
If so, we lose again, which could of been spent on kit for the RN.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Good question……I would hope the Greeks, but if the ships are being ‘gifted’, who knows? Its a pretty appalling turn of events designed to boost business for Babcock at no cost to them, only the RN. The new hulls are being built at snails pace and I don’t hear any announcements about speeding up the process or vastly improving the UK Type 31 by fitting sonar or a decent number of Sea Ceptor and ASMs?

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

This is inherently down to the one eyed attitude (Ajax also an example) in the past to letting the forces dictate turnkey design to suit their supposed needs with little to no benefit to exporting designs. We are no longer able to afford that approach (in reality haven’t for decades) and without export success or at least collaboration we won’t be able to deliver vessels of the quality we require anyway as we already see great ships totally inadequately armed or the sensor required damaging the whole defence industry in the end. In what way is the Fremm not good… Read more »

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

I would be surprised if uk gov paid for any Lifex for Monmouth. I’m sure the vessels will be offered by UK govt on an ‘as-is where-is’ basis especially if, as others have suggested, the Greeks will upgrade the t23 and their own older hulls with the same fit out (which makes sense). Babcock are not a charity. Any costs they incur in a refit will either be managed up front or be buried in the whole package cost for 2+4. Personally think the deal would be great…unless there was a secret squirrel plan to strip CAMM from Montrose and… Read more »

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Someone somewhere will need to pay for refit for Monmouth just to make her seaworthy…….whether it be the Greeks, Babcock.or whoever……

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

It won’t be the Greeks, it is a KUR of their Frigate modification and replacement programme that 2 interim Frigates are provided as part of the deal. They are expecting delivery of two vessels ready to go within a reasonable timeframe. Babcock as the bidder are the ones who probably have to pick up the bill and I would also assume there would need to be some changes to the vessels prior to delivery as I highly doubt the Greeks will want the MK8 4.5″ preferring the Leonardo 76mm a gun they already operate.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion x

I think HMG will do diplomatically and financially whatever it takes to help Babcock get this order.
And Babcock will pull out all the stops to deliver Monmouth refitted in A1 condition faster than you can say pass the Retsina: Sea Ceptor, a Dutch radar, Harpoon Block II, OTO 76mm, new diesels.

Phil Chadwick
Phil Chadwick
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

Monmouth will certainly not be undergoing a LIFEX.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Chadwick

Yep. No LIFE to EX.

Paul42
Paul42
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Chadwick

Without an extensive refit she won’t be going anywhere!! She has been stripped of everything that wasn’t going to be needed post LIFEX in order to speed that process up. I believe she was down to get new engines, so you can imagine what needs to be done to get her into any kind of seaworthy/operational state…… Without LIFEX she is pretty much only fit for scrap. So, I imagine a plan must be in place to accomplish all that needs to be done, if not, why the hell would the Greeks want her?

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul42
Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul42

“So, I imagine a plan must be in place to accomplish all that needs to be done, if not, why the hell would the Greeks want her?” Turning into a bit of a scratched record here…the Greeks haven’t asked for her. They have asked for an Interim Frigate as part of any bid for their frigate replacement and upgrade progamme, that interim vessel can be used or new build. Type 23 are the only hulls that the UK has going spare to put into the bid. It’s ironic really the Type 22 Batch 3 would have been an excellent fit… Read more »

Graham Moore
Graham Moore
1 month ago
Reply to  Phil Chadwick

So the Greeks will get a stripped bare frigate? Not a deal sweetener but a deal breaker.

Pacman27
Pacman27
1 month ago

I am in favour of this if the T31’s are built in Britain.

this competition is tight, a couple of RN frigates could be the clincher…

Once we have one export customer others may follow, but we have to make money on these deals or at least use them to bring the costs down for the RN.

Tim Hirst
Tim Hirst
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

Most of them would be built under license. The majority of export opportunities for the T31 will involve some or all of the ships being built by the customer. These customer built ships still give opportunities for systems and expertise sales .

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  Tim Hirst

It’s the design, engineering and creative aspects of engineering projects to that’s the cream these days even if it doesn’t ring bells in the mind of the public sadly. This Country is at the forefront in this side of industry (Arm, F1, Arup, some military) not generally banging bits together that was thrown away (even if salvageable back then) by Thatcher, apart from specialist areas at least mostly where it is deeply tied into design and innovation anyway. So only through exploiting the design/creative side of engineering and industry will we ever keep and hopefully develop new areas of industrial… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

T31 is based on a Danish design.

Ambivalent Lurker
Ambivalent Lurker
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS

Yes, but the design has been very heavily reworked/optimised by BMT, Babcock and Thales so Type 31 can be considered to be a “new” ship. Crucially the oiginal IP rights to the Danish Iver Huitfeld class design were transfered as part of the Type 31 project which is why the project either for full ships, hulls or license-build rights etc, has such good export potential. Its very easy to build hulls, it far, far harder to design, build, and, the the really tough bit thats lots of people dont realise, to integrate complex warships.

Expat
Expat
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

I agree, people get all nostalgic about metal bashing but that’s not where the money its the specialist knowledge and equipment that makes the money.

Bringer of Facts
Bringer of Facts
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

We should be totally obsessed with metal bashing, in any war of attrition the country that is the most self-sufficient in engineering/ manufacturing will be the country that wins. Relying on other countries to build /replace your military tech for you assumes that that supply chain won’t be affected by, or cut off in any conflict.

Expat
Expat
1 month ago

Trouble is I doubt the metal can be bashed without foreign equipment, chemicals etc. We also need micro processors and other electronics to make the bashed metal move shoot or even dispose of waste. I work in manufacturing and 100% know the value of it but also the reality is UK is not self-sufficient.

Sean
Sean
1 month ago
Reply to  Expat

The reality is, the only country that is probably self-sufficient from rare materials to high-tech items like processor fabrication is China.

StevenW
StevenW
1 month ago
Reply to  Spyinthesky

Absolutely agree with you Spy’ except your point about Thatcher. The common narrative surrounding her government is factually wrong. Industrial production rose strongly during her government’s period in office unlike during the governments of the 70s when it fell. Ship building and mines do not make a modern economy. That said it is great to see the current emphasis on navy shipbuilding.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 month ago
Reply to  Pacman27

I wish people would actually read up about the Hellenic Frigate programme before commenting on it, this isn’t a sweetener being thrown in to try and get the deal, it is a Key User Requirement of the Hellenic Frigate Programme that at least two interim frigates by provided either a pair currently in build or used. They have also stipulated that bidders have the choice of selling or leasing the vessels. The only new vessels currently in build are Type 26 that we can’t give up without wrecking the RN equipment programme so that leaves Type 23. This is a… Read more »

Andy P
Andy P
1 month ago

Not a massive shock, one “slightly soiled” and one that needs a lot of work. If that is going to make the deal then fair play. Who’d have thunk it, a couple of d T23’s and not a fancy new yacht. Huh “!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Andy P

 😛 

Geoffrey Roach
Geoffrey Roach
1 month ago

Good deal in my book. The more T31’s we can sell the better. With Australia and Canada with us with the T26 and a fair few apparently interested in the T31 maybe people will get to like the idea of buying British again.

AV
AV
1 month ago
Reply to  Geoffrey Roach

Couldn’t agree more.

Challenger
Challenger
1 month ago

Interesting to see how much of a sweetener offering 30 year old frigates (one of which has been stripped and is in a bad state) will be!

Clearly they would be a stopgap but the rate at which France & Italy have been producing FREMM makes me wonder whether it’d really be worth them spending the time updating and bringing Monmouth & Montrose into service before switching to T31 if the former can be offered with the first 1 or 2 built by France and then the rest locally within a similar timeframe.

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

The four existing Greek Hydra class frigates are being refurbed too so the Type 23 would likely receive the same fitout so Greece would end up with 6 refurbished 30 year old ships and 4 modern ones.

Phoenix_jz
Phoenix_jz
1 month ago
Reply to  Challenger

To be fair, age does not seem to be a concern to the Greeks. Navantia’s offering in fact, since the Spanish Navy lacked any ships that could be given up in the short term, was to build a pair of light frigates that could be delivered sooner than the main four production units, but they were cut from the competition. Damen is in a similar boat, as the Dutch Navy doesn’t seem to want to give up any of their Karel Doorman-class frigates until 2025, so how their proposal fairs from here on out may be questionable (even if they… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Phoenix_jz
Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  Phoenix_jz

Naval Group ( France) can still build FREMM Frigates if needed, the Marine Nationale are said to be looking at having another Two.

Phoenix_jz
Phoenix_jz
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Naval Group ( France) can still build FREMM Frigates if needed They can, though this would disrupt their current construction program. In general, though, they don’t have any intention to, as Naval Group wanted to focus on the FDI as a more competitive export offer versus their version of the FREMM.  the Marine Nationale are said to be looking at having another Two. Would you happen to have a source for this? I’m aware the MN was not especially thrilled to move from the FREMM to FDI, but I have not read of any effort to procure more FREMM in… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Phoenix_jz
AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

That is a confusion Paul T.
Mme Parly said 2 more FREMM will be “commissioned” to the 6 in service.
These are the Freda AAW that have been already build.

In another post i will link to the twitter for this post to not be stuck in approval.
Note her post is also incorrect since one of the Freda was already commissioned at time if wiki is correct.

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  AlexS
Phoenix_jz
Phoenix_jz
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

As AlexS has already said, that seems to be a poor translation on the part of Navyrecognition. Parly was referring to the pair of ‘FREDA’ being procured by the MN to boost their AAW limited fleet AAW capacity. These are FREMM-FR 7 & 8, respectively Alsace and Lorraine. Alsace was delivered to the MN this past April and is currently working up, while Lorraine is still fitting out, due to be delivered next year. Production itself has however already shifted to the FDI program, and these will be the next chain of ships built at Lorient, with steel already cut… Read more »

AlexS
AlexS
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul T

Paul T France cannot offer FREMM is out of their portfolio.

If they get back to FREMM that is a big volte face due to heavy criticism due to Italian FREMM success.
Naval Group pushed the French Navy to accept FDI because they felt the FREMM was not sellable.

French FREMM prod:
1 Egypt
1 Morocco
8 France
Italy FREMM prod
10 Italy
2 Egypt
6 Indonesia(subject to financing)
10 USA or even more.

George
George
1 month ago

Hi folks hope all is well.
Good to see, and a very close allie, and makes good business sense.
However, given Greece’s financial status, there must be some doubts whether Greece will be in a financial position to order new ships, then what? I’m sure there must be a form of down payment to secure future orders for the Type 31.
Also do we know if the ships are going fully equipped? Perhaps you experts may know.
Cheers,
George

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  George

They certainly wont be paying up front for ships, id guess it will be a deal like the french did for Egypt, payment over a long long period of time.

AV
AV
1 month ago
Reply to  George

My take is they’ll be offered as hulls. Any life-ex work or equipment fit will be in line with the larger contract and yes, ultimately paid for by the Greeks.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago

A good case surely to allow for an acceleration of the T 26 build to allow for earlier in service date of the first two hulls?

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

Both are GP versions of the Duke class not ASW, accelerating the City class would mean that there would probably be pinch points in GFE is my guess.

geoff
geoff
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

Hello Dern. I was just thinking of numbers of escorts in general-mighty thin on the ground with the loss of two more hulls! In 1979 on showing an old RN pal of mine who had seen service in WW2, my brand new copy of Jane’s he said very nice but he could not believe how small the fleet had become!! At that time the RN had about 60 frigates and destroyers!! It’s all relative I suppose.

Last edited 1 month ago by geoff
Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  geoff

I mean that’s not news though, we’ve known there will be a gap in escort numbers in the early 2020’s for years now.

Dern
Dern
1 month ago

Assuming that this is contingent on the Hellenic Navy taking the Arrowhead offer this is a brilliant bit of news.

Federico Capietti
Federico Capietti
1 month ago

They are desperately following Fincantieri with Freem frigates, but I thinks it’s too late. Also Italian navy offered two maestrale class frigates and Italy is very close to Greece.

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

There is absolutely nothing wrong with selling on or gifting RN ships to allied countries. The problem here is that we are doing so before their replacements are ready causing a reduction in the fleet. This is what happens when you try and turn ship building on and off rather than keep a steady drum beat of construction. It doesn’t even save money because old ships cost more to keep operational and when you do turn the building tap back on you have to retrain an entire work force.

James
James
1 month ago
Reply to  Rob

One has been out of action for a long time so its not really an actual loss other than an on paper one.

Mike O
Mike O
1 month ago

Well if anything I am glad to see the UK government being proactive on behalf of UK industry. I wonder how the material condition of the type 23s compares to some of the other international offers.

David Nicoll
David Nicoll
1 month ago

Don’t want to be cynical, but given the circumstances is anyone taking bets on whether the cost of these two ‘gifts’ will be deducted from the International Aid budget?

JOHNT
JOHNT
1 month ago

The Type 23’s are younger than the Elli’s but about the same age as the Hydra’s with similar capabilities. Given one of them has had all the weapons stripped from them I think the Greeks will say no. They got rid of all the costly to run 2nd hand frigates they had as part of defense cuts why burden themselves with them. However some of the former eastern bloc Nato countries might welcome them as they lack decent warships and it would be some years before they could build new ships.

JohnF
JohnF
1 month ago

Greece spends billions buying German kit but we give them free stuff so some companies can make more money.

Spyinthesky
Spyinthesky
1 month ago
Reply to  JohnF

They buy German kit because they have run a better system of military production always with exports in mind (unlike us thinking we are a super power) which has itself generated more consistent wealth for the companies and long term production lines to use to invest in new design and innovation. We haven’t so if we are ever to get back in the game we need to build influence like the Germans have over decades on quality, economic heft and political nous or the French who fully understand how you use loss leaders and political influence to gain traction. Will… Read more »

Robert
Robert
1 month ago

Not to knock anyone, but it in the Times reporting, probably just read the RN report on ships be Decommissions put 2 & 2 together and got 65

Watcherzero
Watcherzero
1 month ago
Reply to  Robert

Its part of a threefold contract all the bidders (UK, France, Italy, Holland, Spain) are expected to:

  1. Provide two ships immediately (either refurbished or diverted builds in progress)
  2. Refurbish the four Hydra class frigates.
  3. Build four new frigates.
John N
John N
1 month ago

Good luck to the UK, but I can’t help but think the French and Italians are both ahead in this competition.

Anyway, time will tell.

Cheers,

John Hartley
John Hartley
1 month ago

I have just read the Stiglitz book on the Euro. The way Germany treated Greece was cruel & counterproductive. Greece has been free to spend during the covid emergency, but Germany will demand extreme austerity once covid is deemed to be over.

dan
dan
1 month ago

Reminds me of what the US did with their Perry class frigates. They had a lot of life left in them so why not let an ally use them.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

A bribe is a bribe is a bribe.

peter Wait
peter Wait
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

A bribe would be against Babcock’s anti corruption policy, staff have to regularly to an online teaching/test to prevent these events happening?

Karl
Karl
1 month ago
Reply to  peter Wait

Are you on koolaid too?

Pete
Pete
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

Strange comment. Offering ships in response to a request for such ship offers is not a bribe. …or are you suggesting something else is going on…I’m sure Fraud Squad will be watching this one like hawks with a copy of UKBA at hand.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Karl

Nonsense. It’s upcycling!

Mike
Mike
1 month ago

And so the navy gets even more wee. Pathetic

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

What’s the point in having a vessel sat alongside knackered like Monmouth?
Keeping her won’t make the RN greater, or bigger.

It’s capability and ships actually out at sea and operational that count.

If the suggestion of 2 T23 gives the deal to the UK then it’s a result, is it not?

Ideally replacements would be ready, but, they’re not.

Draxman
Draxman
30 days ago

If she’s so knackered and useless, why do the Greeks even want her?

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
30 days ago
Reply to  Draxman

Who says they want her?

They were offered as that is all we have to put forward, under the terms of the Greek frigate competition which requires the furnishing of 2 frigates, quickly, as an interim.

This has been covered by Fedaykin on this thread. The article is misleading and T31 is unlikely to win.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Mike

Not really. I agree its tight but there are now 5 River 2s doing the global presence and constabulary work that used to be done by frigates. Forward basing and investment in maintenance facilities like Duqum have significantly increased availability. Babcock will cut steel on the first T31 this year; it will be in service probably 2025. My guess is that the release of Montrose will be timed so that fleet available numbers are sufficient. If the Greeks go for the deal Babcock will refit Monmouth which has been stripped of its weapons with whatever fit the Greeks specify in… Read more »

steve
steve
1 month ago

well just goes to show all the cuts the tory government have made we are short of escorts we down to 12 now it will be years before the other ships come into service i hope that the navy must start recruiting to come up to the level required at present we have 29 ,200 sailors etc,in service and now that one of the R F A are be made ship shape for service as a littoral ship, these ships will be worn out before time yet we will spend 250 million on a show the flag ship for government… Read more »

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  steve

The Tory government has removed 4 T22B3 from service until today from 2010-2021.

Labour from 97 – 2010 reduced the escort fleet from 35 to 32 to 31 to 25 to 23.

12 ships. I can list which types if you’d like?

Which is worse?

I will always add balance whenever posters mention Tory cuts as a poltical point. Always.
As it will never wash.

I can list in far greater detail if needs be.

All governments have cut. All.

Lusty
Lusty
1 month ago

My poor B3 22s! (called them B22s there for a sec!) Hopefully, the T32 comes to fruition and can act as a replacement for them. We shall see. As for this, it all depends on what the ‘deal’ is and if the Greeks even want Monmouth to begin with. All we have to go on is this article and a heavy degree of assumption. It could well be that they take Montrose and the next T23 to decommission. Of course, it’s purely speculation on my part. Monmouth requires some work, of course. If they want to put the money into… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by Lusty
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Lusty

Beautiful looking ships to my untrained eye. And we’ll armed at the time.

Klonkie
Klonkie
1 month ago

Morning D

And to add, Labour also reduced the number of SSNs over this period.

Paul C
Paul C
1 month ago
Reply to  Klonkie

One of their most destructive acts in defence. 12 SSNs was to be cut to 10 and then became 7. It would have ended up as 6 of course had they remained in office.

David
David
1 month ago

Danielle. Could you balance by mentioning the global economic crises in and around 07?

And, yes, we should never have got involved in sandy places, Blair was wrong and, before he died https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Bingham,_Baron_Bingham_of_Cornhill made an excellent case for indictment on war crimes.

However, Labour never proclaim they are the party of defence and this currreent Govt has broken a manifesto commitment by cutting the British Army.

As to the sale. Crack on if this brings export orders for T31!

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  David

Morning David. Will have a read of that Wiki indictment. Not heard of it. The financial crisis didn’t help, but the cuts to the RN and RAF happened mainly before that. 1997 SDSR RN has 35 escorts. Removed 3 T22, followed by 1 more shortly after. Escort fleet, 31. 2004 New Chapter ( the killer ) reduced fleet to 25. 3 T23 retired early, T45 12 planned to replace 11 T42, reduced to 8 planned as T42s started bowing out. Later the T45 was further cut to 6 planned, T42s continued to be decommissioned. Left 23 escorts. I dont usually… Read more »

Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago

You’re right to point this out. Successive governments have since 1990 chosen to fritter away the ” peace dividend” whilst failing to reduce UK commitments to match. Even if there is a lot of jam tomorrow in the current government’s plans, I will give them some credit for at least planning for more effective forces. My concern is that so much of the new equipment won’t be available for a decade or more. In the meantime, we expand our area of operations whilst numbers of ships, aircraft, afvs and soldiers continue to fall.

Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

You’re right of course, Peter.

No let up in commitments while numbers reduce.

We got to too small years ago in my opinion, but there is more to a military than just numbers, which too many moaners forget.

Which is why I continue to highlight the positives.

David Steeper
David Steeper
1 month ago
Reply to  steve

Office for National Statistics.RN fully trained manpower.
Regular 33,850
Reserve 4,080
RFA/Locally enlisted 2,480

Peter S
Peter S
1 month ago

The contrast between the global ambitions and long term plans in the Integrated review and the current reality couldn’t be starker. The government have done a brilliant piece of PR deflection, sparking wide discussion amongst those interested of what the Type 32 will look like. In reality, like the army and the RAF, the RN will shrink even further. It will be years before we get back to a force of just 13 frigates and even that number is too low for the tasks now planned- CSG plus2 LRGs. In the context of falling numbers, the plan to disperse forces… Read more »

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter S

What he said!

Andrew D
Andrew D
1 month ago

Not good but if it gives us the deal for new ships great,but there again if we give them the Escorts and the Greek navy decides when the time comes to go for USA or an other nations design wouldn’t that be something.👹

dan
dan
1 month ago

Some of the other nations need to start stepping up to the plate and do more for their own defense. Australia is a perfect example that takes their own defense seriously and spends the money to support that. Japan is doing a lot better than it used to but most of the rest in the Pacific still do defense spending on the cheap betting on Western powers to come to their rescue when the Chicoms make their big moves.

Julian1
Julian1
1 month ago

I hope there’s some sales common sense here. Hellenic navy commits to t31 and they get 2xknackered t23 for free. Hellenic baby does not commit and uk gov charges Greek gov £80m or whatever.
Would hate to get shafted.

Julian1
Julian1
1 month ago
Reply to  Julian1

Navy not baby lol

peter Wait
peter Wait
1 month ago

The Greek economy is a basket case, will Germany end up paying for these ?

David A
David A
1 month ago

Doesn’t this make financial sense. If we gift them the ships systems including the engines they will be buying parts for the next 15 years or so.

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago

What a blinder, keep the hulls in nato and in the right place to make a difference. As well as using them to get business for British ship yards. they may be nackered for RN service, but the RN sends its ships in challenging seas a long ways from home. The reality is sailing around the eastern med within a few days sailing of a home port is not that bad for warn out hulls. It puts some good ASW assets where they are needed. Brilliant, I have to say I’m not a fan of the Johnson administration over a… Read more »

Dern
Dern
1 month ago
Reply to  Jonathan

Iirc these are GP type 23s not ASW ones.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I served on a tail equipped and a none tail equipped T23.
Both do Asw.
They both have active sonar.
They both have helos
They both have MTLS.
They both have exactly the same internal machinery and quietening systems.
Having a tail means you can do longer range aquesitions of a target. That said… 2050/2051 can still ping you at over 30 miles and has a v good passive, mine avoidance and torpedo warning capability
In the Med having a tail out is not a big priority. Active is a better thing to have.

David
David
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

Thanks @gunbuster for the info.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

So T26 could have done the GP job…
I’ll get my coat…..

Jonathan
Jonathan
1 month ago
Reply to  Dern

I’m pretty sure, they would still be classed as very good ASW assets. Tail or no tail. Especially for a nation like Greece and those very enclosed seas.

Umbra
Umbra
1 month ago

The RN for many a year has had its ships sold on. There is a reason for this, they are the best maintained ships in the world and as such are a bargain for any country lucky enough to be offered a Hull.

Johan
Johan
1 month ago

The Issue with the 2 oldest T23s is their power supply is at its maximum output and cannot be upgraded with a major refit, so much like HMS Ocean cannot link up to the new naval systems.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Johan

One word… Bollocks. You have no idea what you are talking about. The need for new DGs on T23 is an obselecence issue not a performance issue. The is a reason why a T23 sounds like an old intercity 125 train… The DGs are basically the same engines as those trains where and they have been out of service for a long time. Since 997, Ceptor and quite a few other modern systems have been fitted and upgraded the power overhead has improved not degraded. No trackers, reduced AC and chilled water load mean that they have a lot less… Read more »

Propellerman
Propellerman
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

ah – the trusty Valenta – never went rusty on the outside due to the ever present film of leaking oil……

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Propellerman

As its still in use… It still doesn’t go rusty!

Propellerman
Propellerman
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

are they not being replaced with MTU’s?

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Propellerman

Some are… T45 PIP work has taken priority but the tail equipped T23s are slated to get them.

I will miss the winding up to power whine of them though…

Propellermn
Propellermn
1 month ago
Reply to  Gunbuster

i’ve just re-commissioned some RMN 39m FAC-G running four of them as main propulsion, MAN are withdrawing some of the spares support so they are struggling to keep them going, but watching the inboard shaft seals for leaks with 4 of them going at full chat behing you is quite frankly overwhelming- especially when its 50+ in the engine room

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago

Excellent news. I do hope this deal goes through. It will be a boost for the national shipbuilding strategy. It’s also good for Babcock who recently reported a large loss. It will be good for Greece; they get their navy where they want it to be faster than the competitive deals. Greece helps restrain Mr Erdogen which needs doing. And it will be good to see these T23s given new lease of life. I look forward to spotting them on my next holiday in the Med. I’m sure Greece will be on the green covid list by the time I… Read more »

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 month ago

Rather misleading title to this article, two Type 23 Frigates are not being gifted to the Hellenic Navy as it currently stands. The Greek tender requires an interim solution to provided whilst the new Frigates are in build and older Frigates that are being retained upgraded, the UK can only offer two heavily used Type 23 as part of its offering. Considering Monmouth has already been parted out she would need an extensive refit to even get her into a state that she could go out to sea again. Montrose is a slightly better bet but that leads to the… Read more »

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

For interest this is a google web translation of the headline on the greek navaldefence web page.

https://navaldefence.gr/karel-doorman-for-hellenic-navy/

The Navy can receive in 2024-28, 4 remarkable Dutch class frigates M (Karel Doorman). Do we have to move immediately?

The KSs are a more modern ship but as my grandmother used to say, put your best foot forward. It looks like Babcock are selling fast refits to deliver the T23s in working order before 2024. I’d bet on them to do it with whatever systems and weapons fit the Greeks want.

Fedaykin
Fedaykin
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

The Karel Doorman will be a far more attractive to the Hellenic Navy, they were the replacement for the Kortanaer class frigates that were sold onto Greece and share similarities that would make inducting them into Greek service easier, they even share the same main gun. They would require less work to make them suitable for Greek service than the Type 23. Damen have a very strong offering that will be hard to beat imho.

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

Agree in principle all your points: the Damen offering will be attractive to Greece and will be hard to beat. The article is saying just that I think. Hard to beat but not impossible. Babcock will install Tacticos on T31. They also have a partner agreement I think with OTO for distribution and maintenance skills on the 76mm. The T31 NS100 radar is Thales Netherlands. The Greek navy operates the Lynx. Greece has expressed interest in Hellfire surface weapon. Sea Ceptor is not only a quantum improvement on their Sea Sparrows but I believe is now RN qualified for use… Read more »

Meirion x
Meirion x
1 month ago
Reply to  Paul.P

“I reckon Babcock could get Monmouth into the Greek navy by 2023/4.”

That is if, Bab’s can get Iron Duke out of one of those only three sheds soon!

Paul.P
Paul.P
1 month ago
Reply to  Meirion x

Plan B might be to have Iron Duke replace Montrose which would need a lot less work before being transferred to Greece. Then follow up with Monmouth.

Last edited 1 month ago by Paul.P
Jon
Jon
1 month ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

Agree the headline is misleading. It should say could be gifted to Greece, not to be.

Last edited 1 month ago by Jon
Daniele Mandelli
Daniele Mandelli
1 month ago
Reply to  Fedaykin

Thanks for the clarification F.

GA
GA
1 month ago

I’ve been reading the comments of this article with interest. From my point of view I can comment about what is written in the Greek military press about this offer which is in general not positive. By that I don’t mean an issue with the Arrowhead design which has many admirers in Greece but I specifically mean this interim solution. The Monmouth will not undergo modernization and has been stripped. The Montrose underwent a midlife upgrade in 2017. This is what the UK is offering Greece in addition to 4 new Arrowheads. Meanwhile the Dutch are offering two brand new… Read more »

Paul T
Paul T
1 month ago
Reply to  GA

The Italian/Fincantieri bid offers Two Maestrale Class Frigates as the Intermediate solution.

Frank62
Frank62
1 month ago

If the T31 becomes an export success I can see other nations putting a far better weapon fit out on them which the RN would envy.
Regarding lack of crews for our fleet, it strikes me as perverse that the RN through the 18th, 19th, & even 20th centuries, crewed far more heavily a much larger fleet from a much smaller population at those times. Yet today we struggle not for the people or resources, but the will to employ them & give our generation a worthy & valuable career.

Gunbuster
Gunbuster
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank62

The RN did Press people back then.

The saying… “1volunteer is better than 10 pressed men” came into being for a reason.

RN recruiting is better but the RN is still struggling with experienced Engineer retention. The last bounty payment was to Chefs in an attempt to get them to stay in and not leave.