Hydra-class frigate

The Hydra class[1][2] 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)
Class overview
Name: Hydra, MEKO 200 HN
Builders: Blohm + Voss , Hellenic Shipyards
Operators:  Hellenic Navy
In commission: 1992present
Planned: 6
Completed: 4
Cancelled: 2
General characteristics
Type: frigate
Displacement: 3,360 tons standard, 4,000 tons full load
Length: 117.5 m
Beam: 14.8 m
Draught: 6.0 m
Speed: 31 knots (gas turbine), 21 knots (diesel only)
Range: 4,100 nautical miles (8,000 km) at 18 knots (33 km/h)
  • 173
  • 22 officers, 151 enlisted men
Sensors and
processing systems:
  • Signaal MW08 air search radar
  • Signaal DA08 air surface radar
  • 2 Signaal STIR fire control radar
  • Racal Decca 2690 BT navigation radar
  • Raytheon SQS-56/DE 1160 hull-mounted and VDS sonar
  • SLQ-25 Nixie torpedo decoy
  • Mk XII Mod 4 IFF radar
  • 2 Signaal Mk 73 Mod 1 radar for ESSM
  • Signaal STACOS Mod 2 combat data system
  • SAR-8 IR searcher
Electronic warfare
& decoys:
  • Argo AR 700 ESM system
  • Telegon 10 ESM system
  • Argo APECS II ECM system
  • 4 SCLAR decoy launchers
Aviation facilities: Hangar for 1 Sikorsky S-70B-6 Aegean Hawk helicopter

Upgrade programs

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.[3] 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)[4].

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.[5] 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.[6] The program will start running from 2020 and it is expected to be completed in 2023/24.


Ship Namesake Builder Commissioned Status
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)

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.

See also



This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.