Greece is to lease two French frigates by August to boost its defensive capabilities in the Aegean, according to Greek media reports.
The acquisition of the FREMM-type vessels was confirmed after letters were exchanged between Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and French President Emmanuel Macron, Greek daily Kathimerini reports.
The decision by France to lease Greece the two vessels, equipped with high-accuracy anti-aircraft systems, for five years is seen as a firm message of support from Paris, the paper reports.
It adds that at the end of the five-year lease, Greece is to take delivery of its first [email protected] frigate. Greece has been in talks with France for four months for the purchase of between two to four [email protected] ships.
The French have also committed to supply Greece with Exocet anti-ship missiles until its existing supply has been renewed, Kathimerini says.