The Themistocles is a new class of next-generation corvettes proposed for the Hellenic Navy. It is being jointly developed by Israel Shipyards and shipbuilding company ONEX Neorion Shipyards.
Based in Neorion, Greece, ONEX Neorion Shipyards is a subsidiary of American diversified technology company ONEX Technologies.
The multi-purpose vessel will be able to conduct patrolling to protect the maritime borders of the Eastern Mediterranean. It is designed to support a range of missions, including anti-submarine warfare and anti-air operations.
The corvette is named after Themistocles, an Athenian politician and naval strategist who was born in 524 BC and died around 459 BC. Claimed to be one of the top corvettes on the market, it will combine Greek, Israeli and US shipbuilding technologies to deliver a state-of-the-art naval platform.
Greece joined a European programme led by Italy and France to develop a modular, flexible corvette for maritime situational awareness, power projection, and surface superiority in January 2020. The first prototype of the European Patrol Corvette (EPC) is expected by 2027. Spain was the fourth country to join the EPC project.
ONEX Neorion Shipyards and Israel Shipyards signed an agreement for the co-production and co-development of Themistocles-class corvette for the Hellenic Navy in June 2020, in response to the Greek corvette requirement. The agreement is expected to strengthen Greece’s strategic partnership with Israel.
The Themistocles-class corvettes will be produced in both Greece and Israel. The shipyards will also work together on the international development and marketing of the new corvette to attract global customers.
The new vessel was unveiled at the DEFEA defence exhibition in Athens, Greece, in July 2021.
The Greek Themistocles warship is based on the same design as that of Israel’s Sa’ar S-72 corvette, with modifications to fulfil the requirements of the Hellenic Navy. The corvette is longer and wider than the Sa’ar S-72. It has a length of 72m, moulded beam of 10.25m, and full displacement of 800t.
The vessel can accommodate 45 crew members and 20 special troops. It is designed to comply with global standards in terms of hull construction, stability, and navigation systems. The revolutionary design of the corvette will allow it to provide future naval warfare capabilities.
The ship can be used to deploy special forces units. It can also be integrated with advanced weaponry and electronics, which can be customised based on the operator’s needs. It will be equipped with a command-and-control system, electronic support measures (ESM), electronic countermeasures (ECM), advanced multi-function search radar, and modern day- and night-vision system that supports operations in different conditions.
Furthermore, the Themistocles-class corvette will feature a flight deck to accommodate a medium-sized marine helicopter. The Themistocles will be available in two configurations, namely a missile corvette and an offshore patrol vessel (OPV).
The Themistocles-class corvette can support a range of missions including open-sea patrolling and surveillance as well as the protection of offshore facilities and exclusive economic zones (EEZs).
Naval forces can also use the vessel to perform anti-terror operations, interdiction of smuggling and illegal activities, and minimise illegal immigration through sea routes.
The warship will be able to work in tandem with search-and-rescue (SAR) helicopters to conduct SAR missions. Other operations that can be performed using the corvette include naval combat operations, sea pollution mitigation, fishery protection and control, and boarding/landing.
The Themistocles-class corvette will be armed with launchers for anti-missile defence and surface-to-surface missiles.
It can be fitted with a 76mm naval gun and remotely-operated stabilised naval gun system up to 30mm. The armament also includes heavy machine guns up to 7.62mm.
The Themistocles-class corvette will be powered by two MTU 16V1163M94 diesel engines.
The propulsion system will provide a maximum speed of more than 30k and sustained speed of 28k. The vessel will have a range of more than 5,000nm while cruising at a speed of 12k. It will provide an extended endurance of 21 days.
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