>3 Ex-Ministers May Face Charges Over Papanikolis Deal

>When on 22 December 2010, HS Papanikolis, first Type 214 submarine of Greek Navy, finally entered into active service, after a unique and long history of procurement, I thought the drama surrounding these submarines was eventually over.

The Greek daily Ekathimerini proved that I was wrong. The Financial and Economic Crime Unit (S.D.O.E) of the Greek Ministry of Finance has conducted an investigation about the prorucement of 4 type U-214 submarines from Germany. The SDOE recomends that three former ministers as well as severel public officials should face prosecution.

SDOE is due to deliver its findings to the Athens Prosecutor’s Office this coming week and Greek judicial authorities will then make a request to German authorities for details of the financial transactions involved in the purchase of the submarines.SDOE will also ask for the bank accounts of all those alleged to be involved to be frozen.

It has been claimed that Ferrostaal, a subsidiary of the MAN Group until 2009, which was part of the consortium that won the contract in 2000 to supply the submarines, paid 10 to 12 million euros to secure the deal for the first of these vessels.The agreement for the four submarines was worth 1.26 billion euros.

This acquisition project is a true Greek tragedy.

Hat tip: Kobus.

>Finally The End Of An Odyssey: Papanikolis Commissioned

>Without much fanfare or big ceremony, Greek Navy commissioned its first Type 214 class submarine HS Papanikolis, 10 years after they have ordered it and 4 years after she was completed. The boat is expected to start her voyage to Greece in a couple of weeks.

Vice Admiral Dimitrios Elefsiniotis, Chief of the Hellenic Navy General Staff made the following speech

Your Excellency, Mrs consul, Bishop, Mr chairman, dear distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, I am sorry if I forgot to mention someone else

It is my great pleasure to be addressing you here today at the commissioning ceremony and the hoisting of the Hellenic flag of Submarine HS Papanikolis, which is the first of the six type 214 submarines, while the rest are being constructed at the Hellenic Shipyards Skaramaga.

Today is a landmark in our effort to upgrade and renew our fleet, a constant and time consuming endeavor which, on days like today, is full of joy and satisfaction not only for the Hellenic navy’s personnel but also for the Greek people who watch their financial sacrifices being fully utilized, especially during such a difficult period of my country.

With the arrival of this submarine, a circle of events reaches its end, which during the last years, were characterized by difficult and tough negotiations, leading eventually to the utmost outcome for both parties. As a result, the Hellenic Navy by reinforcing and completing its armaments program, upgrading its operational capabilities, is even more in the position to execute any mission effectively and successfully fulfill all requirements and challenges on a professional basis.

The six submarines will be equipped not only with exceptional operational potentials but also with the well trained professional crew who have already great experience in submarines. All these submarines, then, will be ready to take over any kind of mission, not only within the Hellenic sea boundaries, but also throughout the Mediterranean sea or in any open sea around the world, if required.

All parties which have been involved in this program should feel proud and content for the excellent results they have achieved. Therefore concluding my brief speech, I would like to express my warmest gratitude to all those that have contributed to the successful completion of the construction and sea trials of the submarine Papanikolis.

I would also like to point out the help of our allies and friends in German Navy for providing their facilities as well as their excellent collaboration.

The Commanding Officer and her crew which will be soon fully manning the submarine, I urge they take advantage of their potential and execute their duties, continuing the Hellenic Navy tradition in which the Greek people trust. I wish they have fare well seas and St Nickolas protects them in every activity.

The emphasis is mine.

It is a very diplomatic worded speech as it does not mention any of the unsolved topics. The performance of Papanikolis was very much despised by Greek side in the last 4 years and during this period Greek Navy declined to accept the boat due its deficiencies. Now almost everything seems to be solved.

Not all the problems listed by Greek Navy during the initial trials are solved to the satisfaction of Greek Navy as the are detailed description of the additional tests which must be done when Papanikolis reaches Mediterranean. (Section B, Contact 012B/00, Annex B, Appendix 2 of the contract signed by TMKS, Abu Dhabi Mar, , HDW, HS and Greek Republic on 29 September 2010)

The issue regarding the submarines main armament is not solved either. Initially Greek Navy decided to use Italian Black Shark torpedoes. But this selection was cancelled in 2004 due to high cost of integration the Italian torpedoes into German combat system. Currently there are no announced acquisition plans for modern torpedoes.

Characteristics of Papanikolis:

Length overall
Length (PP)
Inner diameter of pressure hull
Mean draught (even keel)
Surface displacement
Submerged displacement
Fuel Cell Modules
2 x 120
Propulsion motor output at 150 rpm
Generators output , snorkeling at 1800 rpm
2 x 970
Main batteries
2 x 324
Operational depth
Test depth
Collapse depth
Submerged speed, battery
Submerged speed, fuel cell
Snorkeling speed
Surface speed, diesel
Submerged cruising range with battery
Submerged cruising range with fuel cell
Total submerged cruising range

Source: Article 2, Contact 012B/00, signed by TMKS, Abu Dhabi Mar, , HDW, HS and Greek Republic on 29 September 2010

>Papanikolis To Be Commissioned At Another Day


Papanikolis in Kiel

 I am starting believe why sailors are superstitious people. Some ships are really doomed or some are really cursed with bad luck from the start.

The submarine Papanikolis supposed to be handed over to the Greek Navy today. But it turned to be a no show. Despite what I said earlier.

Below is an announcement from Greek Defense Ministry about the ceremony:

“In recent implementation of Law 3885/2010 Mr Ministers of Finance and National Defence have signed a definitive agreement for the future of HSY and submarines of the Navy. The contents of the contract is a law of the state. Under the contract, the actions preceding the implementation date must be completed by October 22, 2010.

Original desire of the contracting parties was that this process be completed by October 14, 2010 and receipt of the submarine “Papanikolis” to be held on October 15, 2010 in Kiel. But it is not in fact possible and so the ceremony date will be determined for a time after the activation of the contract for which a contract have until October 22.

The Greek government has taken all actions concerning them and are always ready to receive the submarine “Papanikolis” which has been tested by the Navy and begin to pay the remaining installments of the purchase price of the submarines, as part of an agreed program payments. The relevant amounts have been transferred from the Treasury to MOD.

What is expected from the other side is the signature of the transfer of 75.1% stake in HSY by ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems / HDW in Abu Dhabi Mar or related company (affiliated company) to be specified by the ADM, under the contract and n.3885/2010.

So she might be commissioned later this month if at all.

And even Papanikolis eventually gets it to active service in Greek Navy she will not have the punch it was invented for her.

Click here to read more.

>Papanikolis To Be Commissioned in 15th October 2010


In Greek internet news portals and blog are correct then, Greek Navy will commission its first Type 214 class submarine HS Papanikolis on 15th October 2010, after ten years of the signing of her contract. Her sisters will follow Papanikolis in 18, 28 and 38 months intervals.

On 30th September, TKMS the maker of the submarine, Abu Dhabi Mar the owner of the biggest naval yard in Greece and the Greek government ratified an agreement to settle all remaining disputes of Archimedes and Neptune 2 programs.

Archimedes program covered the construction of 4 Type 214 AIP submarines and Neptune 2 program covered the conversion of 3 existing Type 209 class submarines with AIP. The details of these and the problems experienced are well documented here and here.

With the new contract Greek government pledged to pay 1.321 million euros to the TKMS and Abu Dhabi Mar for the outstanding debts and ordered 2 more Type 214 class submarines.

Scheduled commissioning date
October 2010
March 2012
January 2013
November 2013
5th Submarine
June 2018
6th Submarine
June 2018

The unit cost of the 5th and 6th Type 214 class submarines is 500 million euro each. This is almost the double what Greek government paid for the first, four Type 214’s. The average unit cost of these submarines was 375 million euro.

1.321 million euro is quite a lot of money in a time when the Greek government is trying hard to sell its austerity reforms in country. It seems that the rumors about the strings attached to German and French economic aids to Greece were true.

Amount to be Paid
(million €)

>The end of the odyssey of Papanikolis?

>According to Greek newspaper Kathimeiri the defense minister of the newly elected Greek government have met with the CEO of TMKS. The agenda of the meeting was of course the ongoing tug of war between the two parties on Neptune II and Archimedes programmes.

The news paper says that Venizelos and Atzpodien have reached an agreement on the first submarine. An unidentified third country is reported to be interested in buying the vessel and the two sides have agreed that selling it would be the best way out of the current impasse.

The two men reportedly agreed that if the technical problems are ironed out, Greece will accept delivery of the remaining three submarines.

The Greek goverment did not had any options. As predicted, the new goverment choose to find a way to settle with TKMS. The other option was to have its submarine force decay while the government and TKMS searched a solution in ICC.

The fate of the TKMS owned Skaramanga shipyard may be different however. If the ongoing rumors are to be believed TKMS wants to sell the shipyard before the end of this year. The arch rival of TKMS, DCNS offered 3 FREMM Class frigates to Greek Navy. Greece wants these ships to be build at home. And Skaramanga shipyard is the only one in the country that has an existing infrastructure to build these ships.
If TKMS gives up its shares in Skaramanga then this could open the way for the FREEM’s.

Dynamic Manta 2019 Has Started

The participating warships and submarine in one photo. Original photo: Turkish Ministry of Defence, improvements by me.

NATO’s Submarine Warfare Exercise Dynamic Manta 2019 kicked off yesterday, off the Sicilian coast, with ships, submarines, aircraft and personnel from 10 Allied nations.

According to NATO press release submarines surface units and ASW planes and helicopters from Canada, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Netherlands, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom, and USA, under the control of Commander, Submarines NATO (COMSUBNATO) taking part in the annual exercise.

Altogether 4 submarines, 9 ships, and ASW planes and helicopters will try to hone their skill in anti-submarine warfare.

The aim of this exercise is to provide all participants with complex and challenging warfare training to enhance their interoperability and proficiency in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills, with due regard for safety.

Below is the complete list of the participants:

Number Name Type Country
333 Toronto Frigate Canada
D-654 Auvergne Frigate France
A-608 Var Tanker France
F-450 Elli Frigate Greece
S-120 Papanikolis Submarine Greece
F-594 Alpino Frigate Italy
S-527 Scire Submarine Italy
F-805 Evertsen Frigate Netherlands
F-103 Blas de Laze Frigate Spain
F-81 Santa Marina Frigate Spain
S-74 Tramontana Submarine Spain
S-357 Gür Submarine Turkey
F-493 Gelibolu Frigate Turkey

The Participants In Dynamic Manta 2017

The participants to Dynamic Manta 2017 ASW exercise. Click to enlarge.  Photo: NATO Allied Maritime Command

NATO Allied Maritime Command posted photos of the participants to Dynamic Manta 2017 anti submarine warfare exercise at Flicker.

It was announced that, 6 submarines and 10 surface ships were going to take part in this war game. The above photo shows all the submarines and most of the surface units.

The absence of Turkish frigate TCG Giresun from the group photos is noteworthy. It is also remarkable, the addition of Italian tanker ITS Etna, since Italian Navy has not announced this earlier.

Is ITS Etna is substituting for another ship, perhaps for the missing Royal Navy ship or was she photobombing the PHOTEX?

Nr of Photo Number Name Type Country
1 78 USS Porter Destroyer USA
2 D-560 ITS Luigi Durand De La Penne Destroyer Italy
3 781 USS California Submarine USA
4 F-459 HS Adrias Frigate Greece
5 D-642 FS Montcalm Destroyer France
6 A-14 ESPS Patiño Tanker Spain
7 S-120 HS Papanikolis Submarine Greece
8 S-360 TCG 1. İnönü Submarine Turkey
9 S-80 ESPS Mistral Submarine Spain
10 A-5326 ITS Etna Tanker Italy
11 340 HMCS St. John’s Frigate Canada
12 F-82 ESPS Victoria Frigate Spain
13 Ruby class Submarine France
14 S-528 ITS Pietro Venuti Submarine Italy
15 F-104 ESPS Méndez Núñez Frigate Spain
F-491 TCG Giresun Frigate Turkey

Dynamic Manta 2017 Started In Italy

TCG 1. İnönü in Catania port. Photo: NATO MARCOM

NATO’s Submarine Warfare Exercise Dynamic Manta 2017 began today off the Sicilian coast, with ships, submarines, aircraft and personnel from 10 Allied nations.

According to NATO press release submarines from France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the United States, under the control of Commander, Submarines NATO (COMSUBNATO), will join 10 surface ships from Canada, France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United States.

Nine Maritime Patrol Aircraft and three shore based helicopters from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Norway, Spain, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States will operate from Sigonella Air Base under the control of Commander, Maritime Air NATO (COMMARAIRNATO).

The aim of this exercise is to provide all participants with complex and challenging warfare training to enhance their interoperability and proficiency in anti-submarine and anti-surface warfare skills, with due regard for safety.

Below is the list of the participant as best as I could find on internet. Additions and corrections are welcomed.

Number Name Type Country
340 HMCS St. John’s Frigate Canada
D-642 FS Montcalm Destroyer France
Submarine France
F-459 HS Adrias Frigate Greece
S-120 HS Papanikolis Submarine Greece
D-560 ITS Luigi Durand De La Penne Destroyer Italy
S-528 ITS Pietro Venuti Submarine Italy
A-14 ESPS Patiño Tanker Spain
F-104 ESPS Méndez Núñez Frigate Spain
F-82 ESPS Victoria Frigate Spain
S-80 ESPS Mistral Submarine Spain
F-491 TCG Giresun Frigate Turkey
S-360 TCG 1. İnönü Submarine Turkey
781 USS California Submarine USA
 78 USS Porter Destroyer USA

Will TKMS Pay Penalty For the Delays In Reis Class Construction Project?


This presentation by TKMS shows the local Turkish content in the upcoming Type214TN submarines. which is substantial compared to the previous submarine construction projects.

The German newspaper Handelsblatt run a story about the penalty to be paid by German submarine constructor Thyssen Krupp Marine Systems (TKMS) to Turkey. The reason for this payment is the delay in, construction of 6 Type 214 TN submarines Turkey as agreed to buy From TKMS in 2009.

On 2 July 2009, a contract was signed between Turkey and Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW), Kiel, a company of TKMS, and MarineForce International LLP (MFI), London, for the delivery of six material packages for the construction of Class 214 submarines which are now called as the Reis class.

The value of the contract is estimated as 2,5 billion €. There is %80 offset agreement. The submarines will be built in Gölcük Naval Shipyard where 11 submarines of Type 209, were previously built. According to the original contract terms the construction was to start in 2011, and the first sub delivered in 2015.

The reasons for the delay of the construction is both technical and commercial.

The technical delay is related to the much reported to the stability problems the Type 214 submarines experienced. The stability problem was one of the main reasons why Greek Navy refused to accept its first Type 214 HS Papanikolis years ago in the first place. The solution to the stability problem by TKMS was to add weights to certain places in the submarine in order to create a stability. But Turkish Navy was not satisfied with this come up with its own solution where the center of gravity of the submarine was relocated,by adding extending the length of the submarine. The solution has to be validated by TKMS and this is one of the delay in the project. This also means that Turkish Navy is working seriously in submarine design and problems associated with it.  In the end Turkish Type 214 submarines will be a few meters longer than the other nations Type 214 submarines.

The Type 214 construction project is the last project where Turkish Navy will construct a submarine to a foreign design and subsystems. It is not a secret that the next submarines constructed by Turkish Navy will be local design with most of the critical components ans sub systems produced with local input. It is not surprising to see the large Turkish industrial participation in the Type 214 project as this project is regarded as preparation phase for the Milli Denizaltı  (Milden). Milli Denizaltı means National Submarine in Turkish. So it is understandable for the Germans to drag their feet in the Type 214 project especially when they know that this is the last of its kind.

Commander Of US 6th Fleet Visits Greek Warships

VADM Pandolfe on board P-68 HS Danilos. Photo: Greek Naval Forces.

The commander of US 6th Fleet,  VADM Frank Craig Pandolfe, made an official visit to Greece in 28th and 29th March 2012.

According to official Greek Navy web site, VADM Pandolfe  visited the Fleet Headquarters where he met with Chief of Navy Rear Admiral Konstantinos Mazarakis Ainians, on 28th March 2012 Navy and boarded the submarine and S-120 HS Papanikolis and fast attack boat P-68 HS Danilos.

Yesterday, on 29th March 2012, VADM Frank Craig Pandolfe, visited the Navy General Staff, where he met with the Chief of Navy Vice Admiral Kosmas Christidis.


%d bloggers like this: