Greek, French defence ministers at ceremonial launch of ‘Kimon’ frigate; premier welcomes event

The ‘Kimon’ frigate, together with the ‘Nearchos’ and ‘Formionas’ frigates, “will spearhead the Greek Navy”, said Greek National Defence Minister Nikos Dendias on Wednesday.

The Greek defence minister was speaking at the ceremonial launching of the ‘Kimon’ frigate at the Naval Group shipyards in Lorient, France, together with his French counterpart Sebastien Lecornu. ‘Kimon’ is expected to sail in Greek waters in 2025.

These three frigates he added, “will function as factors of stability and peace, yet also as a projection of power in the Aegean, in the Eastern Mediterranean, and in our broader region and beyond.” This and all governments of Greece are absolutely committed to defending national territory, he added.

Referring to the Greece-France strategic defence agreement, Dendias noted that “we now see yet another result of this agreement, which we signed together” with former Defence Minister Nikos Panagiotopoulos.

In his statement, Dendias also referred to the Greek-France partnership and the two countries’ long-standing relations, “based on solidarity – and if required – on mutual contribution to deal with any attack against the terittorial integrity of the two countries, always on the basis of International Law.”

The two countries’ relations were also mentioned by Lecornu, who pointed out that if there is one European partner of France with common views on a series of issues then that is definitely Greece, before adding that this is evident first and foremost in the two countries’ defence collaboration.

PM Mitsotakis welcomes launch of ‘Kimon’

In a post on Facebook, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis welcomed the ceremonial launch of the Belharra class ‘Kimon’ frigate in France on Wednesday.

Specifically, he wrote that “30 months ago I had pledged that the country would acquire the most modern vessels, the most efficient fighters – the most appropriate equipment overall. This is now becoming a reality with the new frigates and corvettes, the Romeo helicopters, the Rafale and the F16 Viper fighter jets, as with armored vehicles and new generation ammunition,” he added.