Meko 200 HN - Hydra Class
The first Meko 200 class frigate was built in Germany and entered service in 1992. The remaining three ships were built in Hellas.
The Hellenic Navy ordered 4 MEKO 200HN "HYDRA" class frigates with the first (F-452 HYDRA) built in Germany by the Blohm& Voss Shipyards and the rest by the Hellenic Shipyards. Delivery of the first frigate was made on January 29th 1993, the second (F-453 SPETSAI) on the 24th October 1996 followed by the third (F-454 PSARA) and fourth (F-455 SALAMIS) vessel of the class. Emphasis was given to better ASW capabilities with a DE1160 Variable Depth sonar (VDS) and support for one S-70B6 Aegean Hawk ASW helicopter (Greek version of Seahawk using the AGM-119Mk2 Penguin Anti-ship missiles).
The MEKO200HN armament include the Mk 48 VLS system with16 RIM-7M Sparrow Surface to Air missiles, 8 RGM-84D Harpoon SSMs, 2X3Mk32 324mm torpedo launch tubes and one Mk-45 127mm/54cb gun capable of hitting both air and surface targets. For close range SSM defence, the frigates are equipped with two Mk 15 Phalanx CIWS systems. Surface warfare capabilities are also very high due to the use of Harpoon missiles and Aegean Hawk helicopters that provide targeting data for "over the horizon" targets.
MEKO HN class frigates have a displacement of 3200 tons (full load) and a length of 117,5m. The vessels have a crew of 189 men, they are powered by 2 LM2500-30 gas turbines and 2 MTU -20V Diesel engines (CODOG) giving a maximum speed of 31kts. Maximum range is 4100nm/with a speed of 18kts.
Electronic equipment includes the DA 08FFT surface/air surveillance radar, the MW 08 tracking radar, the 2690BT navigation radar, the STACOS Mod2 Tactical Command and Control System, the DDWCS Fire Control System and the DE 1160 sonar. As mentioned before the MEKO 200HN is also equipped with a DE1160 Variable Depth sonar (VDS) for better detection performance in a small sea such as the Aegean Sea, the AR700 ESM/ APECS II ECM systems, and 4X6 Mk36 Mod1 SRBOC countermeasures system. Communications include the Link 11/14 VESTA and the TELECON10 Comint/Sigint systems.
A very useful frigate design, curiously enough, these ships are very similar to the Meko 200s bought by Turkey only a few years previously, but with some detail differences, for example the use of Phalanx instead of Sea Zenith, an SPS-49 sonar, and a CODOG propulsion system. With the same gun armament as an Arleigh Burke destroyer, eight Harpoons and a VL Sea Sparrow system, these ships represent excellent flexibility.
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