Greece and Israel ink deal to commission hi-tech corvette for Hellenic Navy

The battleship is named after Themistocles, a navy general who fended off the Persian empire during the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE.

By Aaron Sull, World Israel News

As tensions continue to escalate between Greece and Turkey, ONEX Shipyards and Israel Shipyards signed a contract to commission at least one Themistocles-class corvette for the Hellenic Navy, reports Athen’s AMNA news outlet.

The Themistocles-class corvette will reportedly be modeled after Israel’s Sa’ar 72 mini-corvette, and its components will be built both in Israel and Greece.

“The strategic co-operation of ONEX Shipyards and Israel Shipyards will turn Greece into a leader again in addition to bringing the two countries closer than ever before,” a statement by the website dedicated to the warship reads.

The combat vessel measures 72 meters in length with a displacement of about 800 tons that can reach maximum nautical speeds of over 30 knots per hour. It includes state-of-the-art weapons and electronic systems, such as anti-missile defense mechanisms, surface-to-surface missile launchers, and advanced radar devices.

The battleship is named after Themistocles, a general and naval strategist who fended off the Persian empire during the Battle of Salamis in 480 BCE.

This is not the first time Israel has lent a helping hand to Greece’s military forces.

In May, Greece leased two Heron drones from Israel for a three year period with the option to purchase them afterward. The drones reportedly will be used to boost the country’s maritime intelligence-gathering abilities to help defend its borders against Turkish aggression.

“The great security relations between Israel and Greece are expanding. We see great importance in the choice made by Greece to equip its forces with an Israeli system, particularly during the global corona crisis,” head of the International Defense Cooperation Directorate (SIBAT), Brig.-Gen. (Ret.) Yair Kulas said at the time.

“This is a clear expression of confidence in the capabilities and strength of the Israeli defense industry. We hope to sign additional agreements with Greece as well as other European partners, assisting them in addressing security challenges,” he said.