Israel Shipyards introduced its Themistocles-class corvette at the DEFEA 2021 exhibition that took place in Athens in the middle of this month. The corvette is a multipurpose vessel with anti-submarine warfare and air defense capabilities based on the Israeli Navy's Reshef-class corvette, also known as the Sa'ar S-72, which will replace the Navy's Sa'ar 4.5-class missile boats in the coming years.
The Sa'ar S-72 is 72 meters long with a displacement of about 800 tons and a top speed of over 30 knots. It can be used as a platform for naval helicopters and the deployment of Special Forces units. The ship is designed to perform a wide range of missions including patrol and surveillance, naval combat, anti-crime as well as search and rescue operations.
The Naval News website said that initially the Sa'ar S-72 was offered to the Hellenic Navy, but the Navy made clear that it would need a bigger version offered by Israeli Shipyards and its Greek partner, Onex Neorion Shipyards. To meet the Hellenic requirements, the two companies offered the longer and wider Themistocles-class vessel.
The Themistocles is 79 meters long and 11 meters wide with a planned draft (the vertical distance between the waterline and the bottom of the hull) of over three meters. The corvette is expected to weigh 950 tons, reach a top speed of 30 knots and have a range of 2,500 nautical miles at a speed of 15 knots via four diesel engines.
The website noted that even though the Hellenic Navy is currently focused on its frigate replacement program, Israeli Shipyards hopes to make a good impression by taking the lead with its offer. The company is also confident it can compete against the European Patrol Corvette (EPC) program, which Greece joined in January 2020.
Naval News quoted Oded Breier, V.P. Marketing for Israel Shipyards, as saying "I know the Hellenic Navy is very busy now with their frigates replacement program and probably once they will finish, the next project will be the corvettes and the Themistocles-class is the one of our choice. Discussions are in progress, and we believe that it’s going through very nicely."