A big step was taken towards the rebirth of the Greek shipbuilding industry on the sidelines of the visit of by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to Israel, according to Business Daily sources, as it was agreed that ONEX Neorion Shipyards, the successor to Neorio Syros Shipyards, will undertake the construction of seven corvettes for the Greek navy, which will be based on plans by Israel Shipyards (Israeli shipyards in Haifa).
The first step in this agreement will be the co-production of the Themistoklis corvette, on which a relevant agreement was signed on June 16, while sources tell Business Daily, that there is a verbal agreement to build six more and that there will be announcements soon. The construction part of the project will be carried out by the Syros shipyards, giving a major push to efforts to develop ONEX.
It is worth noting that ONEX and Israel Shipyards are working closely together to promote the Themistoklis corvette in the international market, at a later stage.
The Themistoklis corvette is a state-of-the-art vessel that aims to meet surveillance needs in the eastern Mediterranean. The design of the corvette combines the know-how of the Greek, Israeli and American industries, with the next generation of operational specifications for future naval warfare.
It is a multi-purpose 72-meter vessel with a displacement of about 800 tons. The Themistoklis corvette can reach speeds of over 30 knots. It can support a medium-sized marine helicopter and also has unique capabilities for developing special forces units.
The corvette includes state-of-the-art weapons and electronic systems, which can be adapted to the navy's needs. The ship will have a range of 5,000 nautical miles and 21 days of autonomy. It requires a 45-person crew and can carry up to 20 members of the special forces.
As for the time frame, sources close to ONEX say that it is possible for a ship to enter the water every 250 days and be delivered complete with all the defense equipment in 350 days. Based on this plan, in the summer of 2021, the Themistoklis corvette will take its place in the navy.
It is important to note that the construction of the new corvette and the co-production by ONEX Neorion Shipyards and Israel Shipyards Ltd, is moving ahead with the full support of the United States. As Keith Silver, commercial attache to the US Embassy, said at a joint event hosted by ONEX and Israel Shipyards in Syros in February, "ONEX's investment is being built on the basis of a long history of Greek-American naval ties and the US government sees the investment in Neorio as a major US investment, at a strategic, commercial and symbolic level. "