France may lose another multibillion shipbuilding deal to US — Analysis

The United States of America has authorized a huge arms sale to Greece. They offer four new frigates, as well as an extensive modernization program worth nearly $9.4 billion. This is directly in direct opposition to a comparable preliminary agreement with France.

The US State Department said it approved the potential deals on Friday, announcing the offer of several Multi-Mission Surface Combatant (MMSC) ships in addition to a separate $2.5 billion plan to modernize Greece’s MEKO Class Frigates.

“This proposed sale will support the foreign policy and national security objectives of the United States by helping to improve the security of a NATO ally, which is an important partner for political stability and economic progress in Europe,”According to the Defense Security Cooperation Agency, the transfer of the ship was approved.

READ MORE: Greece reaches a deal with France to acquire 3 French warships in the wake of AUKUS protests

If executed, the scheme to update Greece’s frigate fleet would include the installation of a number of new systems, such as new five-inch artillery cannons and upgraded sonar. Arms dealers Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, VSE Corporation and the UK’s BAE Systems would serve as the primary contractors.

Australia snubs EU arms producers again after submarine scandal

The announced proposal comes after France declared in September that it had reached a similar agreement with Greece to provide up to four new frigates for some $3.4 billion (€3 billion). However, Herve Grandjean, a French military spokesperson, stated that although some promises had been made, there was no contract yet. The deal will be concluded after three months. This deadline is expected to expire in the next few weeks. 

Though it is yet unclear what the US proposal will mean for France’s deal, the move could be interpreted as a major slight by Washington, which already invoked the country’s ire earlier this year after unveiling a nuclear submarine deal with Australia despite a preexisting arrangement with Paris. France, which had been slated for selling diesel submarines to Canberra, reacted by recalling its ambassadors from the US and Australia. Meanwhile, President Emmanuel Macron harshly criticized both of these allies.



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