It is known that the French will offer the Gowind corvettes to our Navy from September 2021. Perhaps they would not have been “tough” in the negotiations, especially on the issue of construction in Greece, and had they offered what PN managed to get away from them later, they would have quickly closed the additional order Consisting of 3 or 4 Gowind HN corvettes, along with 3 FDI HNs. However, their position forced the National League to request a bid from the Dutch as well, opening the door to other nominations. This is how the Italians found themselves at the forefront with the FCx-30HN, cooperation with the Elefsina shipyards and a more general discussion about building the Constellation in Greece.
The point is that at about the same time that the British Navy decided that it needed new corvettes, The French Navy found it needed patrol boats on the open sea. After all, this is the main reason why France participates in the EPC (European Patrol Corvette) programme. However, the EPC will have two “drafts”, one based on the Gowind and the other on the FCx-30. It is therefore possible that the “patrol” EPC was a development of the Gowind (which in any case as a design started out as an open sea patrol), while the more heavily armed version had the FCx-30 at its core. It is possible that the two versions will gain enough common subsystems, in which case they will form the basis for a series of warships up to a displacement of approximately 4,000 tons (which is what Fincantieri’s FCx-40 design reaches).
We remind you that today’s Gowind corvette was based on the Gowind 1000 OPV design, which was adopted by Argentina. The characteristics of the Gowind 1000 provide the ability to operate effectively in a wide range of patrol tasks, such as maritime protection and “flag” display. But the French version will soon replace the Greek version, so it makes sense for the two countries to adopt a joint plan.
Marine Group: What advantages does the Gowind HN proposal offer the Navy?
Therefore, in France, the idea of ordering Gowind in the role of OPV was considered but partly in a joint configuration with our country. Thus, a large order of 9 ships could be assembled, 3 Greek and 6 Frenchwhich would enter in some way, completely unknown to us, Under the umbrella of EPC. Of course there will be many synergies and economies of scale from the same design and partial standardization.
The original French idea was to order their ships in two batches of 3 each. Thus, in discussions, the French proposed that the two boats from the first batch be built in Scaramagas. This means that from an initial order of 6 Gowinds and 3 OPVs for France and 3 for Greece, 4 of them will be manufactured in our country (2 French and 2 Greek). In this way, the French will offer us a strong sub-construction project, to fill the gap of any sub-construction project in FDI HN, but also to “hit” the Fincantieri company that promised to transfer the work from its own orders.
These theoretical discussions, about the joint construction of a class of small warships for Greece and France, we realize seem a bit… improbable. Because it involves Gowind’s massive construction at Scaramanga, when he’s still in trouble and an attempt is being made to reorganize him. But they clearly attracted interest from the Greek side, which saw the comparative advantages.
However, the development was blocked again, and here from the French side. While it was proposed to build 2 of the first 3 French OPVs, as we said, at Scaramja, the French backed out of building only one, with the other two at Lorient. Thus, the possibility of producing 4 Gowinds in Greece became 3, of which 2 were for our production line. There has not yet been a guarantee for the second French piece, which appears to be able to be built within France.
Information on our page from various sources also indicates that the French Navy has serious objections to the selection of Gowind, which is being promoted more as an idea in government circles there. The ship may be a very good commercial design, but the French Navy’s missions are different from those of Egypt, or the United Arab Emirates. We remind you that Romania withdrew from the selection of Gowind, while Malaysia has been seeing endlessly rusting “trunks” of Gowind 3100 for many years.
Gowind cruisers for Malaysia, the latter “cut” to save the program
On the contrary, the Italian proposal to Greece, in particular with ONEX bringing jobs to Eleusina so that facilities there are gradually modernized, appears to still stand. The local production of the FCx-30HN, coupled with the transportation of construction works, makes the Italian offer stand out in terms of Greek value added. After all, the Italian shipbuilding group operates under financial standards, so…
sequel to Naval defence
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