The involvement of the domestic industry in the construction of the new frigates is doubtful, despite the assurances of the Minister of National Defense, Mr. Nikos Panagiotopoulos.

The involvement of the domestic industry in the construction of the new frigates is doubtful, despite the assurances of the Minister of National Defense, Mr. Nikos Panagiotopoulos.

According to the agreement recently signed with France concerning the purchase of 24 Rafale fighter jets, not even a single euro goes to Greek workers or companies, and if the same happens with the frigates, then we are speaking of a tremendous economic disaster of the country – although no one dismisses the need to strengthen the deterrence of the Hellenic Navy.

However, this already seems like a lost cause, as the French, having “lost” Australia’s order for nuclear-powered submarines, will seek to maximize their profits and this will obviously happen to the detriment of Greece’s domestic defense industry, and consequently, at the expense of Greek economy and Greek taxpayers.

Furthermore, operational autonomy can only exist when there is the domestic capability to construct and maintain, if not all, then at least the most critical frigate subsystems.

Today’s globalized supply chains of arms manufacturers are set up in such a way, as to mainly serve the logistics systems of companies, which unfortunately do not coincide with the interests of end-users – and in this case, the Hellenic Navy.

So, let’s take an example:

If and when the French Belharra frigates arrive, it is possible that during a crisis in the Aegean they will be damaged and need immediate repair in one of their basic subsystems.

If no provision has been made by the contracting authorities, so that, along with the supply of the frigates, the necessary domestic industrial base of construction and support is established, then in the best-case scenario the ships will be decommissioned at the port.

The Navy will then desperately ask the ship’s builder for an immediate repair or the supply of spare parts or the immediate visit of specialized technical personnel from their facilities abroad to localize and repair the damaged part of the ship on the spot.

In other words, the Turks will be sailing the Aegean untroubled, as the Hellenic Navy will be waiting six to eight weeks for the spare part to arrive.

To cite one example, Finland has demanded at least 50% domestic participation in a comparable program of supply of four multi-role corvettes and frigates, worth € 1.3 billion, which is expected to create more than a thousand new jobs.

It would be a crime for Greece to lose its bargaining power and not demand substantial domestic industrial participation, in order to turn the ambitious Naval frigate armament program into a growth driver for the Greek economy.

Patriotic speeches, photos and big talk that suggest a superficial approach to the matter are not enough.

Turkey isn’t the only opponent of Greece. Unemployment, the “bleeding” of the Greek economy, and low growth rates are the most dangerous enemies after all.