Naval Group launches 1st FDI frigate Kimon for Greece Navy


On October 4, 2023, the French shipbuilding firm, launched the Kimon, a defense and intervention frigate, tailored specifically for the Hellenic Navy.
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Russian Vyborg Shipyard laid the Purga ice class coastguard ship of project 23550 925 001 First Hellenic Navy's FDI frigate Kimon. (Picture source: Navy Recognition)


This vessel is part of the Frégate de Taille Intermédiaire (FTI) class, known in English as the Medium-Size Frigate. By February 2022, the French Navy had ordered five of these ships, with the lead ship named Amiral Ronarc'h. The Hellenic Navy, recognizing the strategic importance of these vessels, ordered an additional three, with the Kimon being the lead ship.

The construction journey of the Kimon began in October 2019 when the first steel was cut. By December 17, 2021, the ship was laid down, with commissioning anticipated from 2024 onwards.

The frigate has been designed with impressive specifications. It has a displacement of 4,460 tons and stretches up to 122 meters in length with a beam measuring 17.7 meters.

The vessel operates on a Combined Diesel and Diesel (CODAD) arrangement with a total output of 32,000 kW, which allows it to reach a maximum speed of 27 knots.

Kimon boasts a range of 5,000 nautical miles at 15 knots and has an endurance of 45 days. She is equipped to accommodate 110 crew members and an additional aircrew detachment of approximately 15 personnel.

The frigate is equipped with technology that includes the Thales Sea Fire multi-function Active electronically scanned array radar, Kingklip Mark 1115 hull sonar, and the CAPTAS-4 towed sonar.

The ship also employs the SYLENA Mk1 decoy launching system for CANTO anti-torpedo decoys. The vessel's armament includes an Oto Melara 76 mm Super Rapid gun, Leonardo LIONFISH 20mm, 8 Exocet MM-40 Block 3c anti-ship missiles, and multiple Sylver A50 8-cell VLS for MBDA Aster 15/30 surface-to-air missiles.

Kimon features a Mk31 21-cell launcher of RAM Block 2B surface-to-air missiles and dual torpedo tubes armed with EuroTorp MU90 Impact torpedoes.

Context

Greece's intricate geography, comprising numerous islands and expansive territories in the Aegean Sea, has historically placed it in the center of territorial and maritime disputes, especially with its neighbor Turkey.

The complexities of delineating maritime borders, territorial waters, and exclusive economic zones (EEZ) between the two nations have often led to tensions.

The presence of an advanced naval vessel serves as a powerful deterrent against potential adversaries, ensuring they reconsider any hostile maritime actions against Greece.

The multifaceted capabilities of the frigate, from anti-air to anti-submarine warfare, mean that Greece is prepared to address threats from multiple dimensions.