The Hydra class are a group of four frigates in service with the Hellenic Navy. They were designed in Germany and are part of the MEKO group of modular warships, in this case the MEKO 200 design. The programme was authorised in 1988 and partially paid for with FMS aid and previsioned for the commission of six vessels. The first ship was built in Germany and commissioned in 1992 but suffered a serious fire while working up near Portland, England. Repairs were completed in 1993. The Greek built warships were delayed due to financial problems on the part of the Hellenic Shipyards completing in the late 1990s which also led to limiting the total number of vessels to four mainly after the acquisition of eight Kortenaer class frigates from the Netherlands in the late 1990s.
HS Spetsai F-453 transits the Mediterranean Sea during Phoenix Express (2008)
|Name:||Hydra, MEKO 200 HN|
|Builders:||Blohm + Voss , Hellenic Shipyards|
|Displacement:||3,360 tons standard, 4,000 tons full load|
|Speed:||31 knots (gas turbine), 21 knots (diesel only)|
|Range:||4,100 nautical miles (8,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)|
|Sensors and |
|Electronic warfare |
|Aviation facilities:||Hangar for 1 Sikorsky S-70B-6 Aegean Hawk helicopter|
In 2007, an upgrade of the STIR fire control system to allow the firing of the RIM-162 ESSM surface-to-air missile was launched. Salamis was the first to be upgraded and, in August 2008, successfully completed a live firing test. The other three Hydra vessels were upgraded during 2008.
On April 25, 2018 the Greek defense minister Panos Kammenos announced that the modernization of the four vessels is in progress but without presenting any further details about the program. According to some reports the available funding is only 100 million Euro (the Navy had proposed a mid-life modernization program with a cost of 400 million).
In May 2019, the Joint Chiefs of General Staff Council (ΣΑΓΕ) decided the commencement of the modernization program for the four ships of the class. The available funds are 150 million € and the whole program will be implemented in the Salamis Naval Base. Due to the financial difficulties of Greece, the available funding is not enough for a full modernization program and it is going to cover only a very basic upgrade. The implementation of the so-called "Mid-Life Modernization program" will allow the upgrading of the electronic combat systems, sensors and radars, which are necessary to increase the combat power of ships. According to reports of Greek defense magazine "PTISI" the upgrade will include 12 basic subsystems of the ship including a new CMS, a new 3D radar, a new navigation radar, new intra-communication systems, new ESM, Link-16 tactical data link network and the installation of a new Laser warning system. The program will start running from 2020 and it is expected to be completed in 2023/24.
|F-452 Hydra Ύδρα||Hydra||Blohm + Voss||November 12, 1992||In Service (As of 2018)|
|F-453 Spetsai Σπέτσαι||Spetses||Hellenic Shipyards||October 24, 1996||In Service (As of 2018)|
|F-454 Psara Ψαρά||Psara||Hellenic Shipyards||April 30, 1998||In Service (As of 2018)|
|F-455 Salamis Σαλαμίς||Salamis||Hellenic Shipyards||December 16, 1998||In Service (As of 2018)|
In popular culture
The Hydra Class frigate is featured in season four of The Last Ship. The Hydra class rendered in the show deviated from the Hydra class resembling a lightly modified Kortenaer class.
- Hydra class MEKO-200HN frigates, article with many photos in seaforces.org
- Hydra class frigates of the Hellenic Navy, presentation in naval-technology.com
- The 4 Hydra class frigates to be modernized, onalert.gr 25/04/2018 (in Greek).
- Article about the modernization of MEKO 200 frigates after the announcements of the Greek defense minister, in the reputed Greek military magazine "PTISI & DIASTIMA" 25/04/2018 (in Greek)
- Article about the modernization program of MEKO 200HN frigates in the defense online magazine "Defencepoint.gr" (in Greek) 19/05/2019
- News about the MEKO 200HN modernization program, article in defense magazine "Ptisi & Diastima" (in Greek), 10/04/2019
- Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1947-1995
- Hellenic Navy website