Hellenic Navy

  (Redirected from Royal Hellenic Navy)

The Hellenic Navy (HN; Greek: Πολεμικό Ναυτικό, Polemikó Naftikó, abbreviated ΠΝ) is the naval force of Greece, part of the Hellenic Armed Forces. The modern Greek navy has its roots in the naval forces of various Aegean Islands, which fought in the Greek War of Independence. During the periods of monarchy (1833–1924 and 1936–1973) it was known as the Royal Hellenic Navy (Βασιλικόν Ναυτικόν, Vasilikón Naftikón, abbreviated ΒΝ).

Hellenic Navy
Ελληνικό Πολεμικό Ναυτικό
Hellenic Navy Seal.svg
Hellenic Navy Seal
Active1821 (de facto)
1828 (official)
Country Greece
RoleNational Defense
Sizec. 30,000 active personnel
116 Warships & other Boats, including:
13 Frigates
11 Submarines
19 Missile Boats
10 Gunboats
9 Tank-landing Ships
6 Patrol Boats
48 Fleet Support & other Auxiliary Ships
3 Memorial Ships
27 Aircraft
Part ofHellenic Armed Forces
PatronSt. Nicholas
Motto(s)Μέγα τὸ τῆς θαλάσσης κράτος
"The rule of the sea is indeed a great matter"[1]
ColorsBlue, White & Gold             
MarchThe Aegean sailor.
EngagementsGreek war of independence
Balkan wars
World War I
World War II
Operation UNIFIL
Operation Desert Storm
Operation Desert Shield
Operation Sharp Guard
Operation Enduring Freedom
Operation Active Endeavour
Operation IFITOS
Operation Atalanta
Operation Ocean Shield
2011 military intervention in Libya
Operation Aginor
War on Terror
WebsiteHellenic Navy
Chief of the Navy General StaffGR-Navy-OF8-sleeve.svg Vice Admiral
Nikolaos Tsounis
Chief of the Fleet CommandGR-Navy-OF8-sleeve.svg Vice Admiral
Stylianos Petrakis
Chief of the Hellenic Navy Logistic Support CommandGR-Navy-OF8-sleeve.svg Vice Admiral
Aristeidis Alexopoulos
Andreas Miaoulis
Konstantinos Kanaris
Pavlos Kountouriotis
Vice Admiral
Ioannis Demestichas
Naval ensignborderless
Naval jackborderless

The total displacement of the fleet is approximately 150,000 tons and it is the 22nd largest Navy in the world[2] by total number of vessels. The HN also operates a number of naval aviation units.

The motto of the Hellenic Navy is "Μέγα τὸ τῆς θαλάσσης κράτος" from Thucydides' account of Pericles' oration on the eve of the Peloponnesian War.[3][4] This has been translated as "The rule of the sea is a great matter".[1] The Hellenic Navy's emblem consists of an anchor in front of a crossed Christian cross and trident, with the cross symbolizing Greek Orthodoxy, and the trident symbolizing Poseidon, the god of the sea in Greek mythology. Pericles' words are written across the top of the emblem.

The Navy, as it represents a necessary weapon for Greece, should only be created for war and aim to victory.

— Greek Government (1866)


The history of the Hellenic Navy begins with the birth of modern Greece, and due to the maritime nature of the country, it has always featured prominently in modern Greece's military history.

The Navy during the Revolution (1821–1830)Edit

The destruction of the Ottoman flagship at Chios by Constantine Kanaris. Painting by Nikiphoros Lytras.

At the beginning of the Greek War of Independence, the naval forces of the Greeks consisted primarily of the merchant fleet of the Saronic islanders from Hydra, Spetsai and Poros and also the islanders of Psara and Samos. The fleet was of crucial importance to the success of the revolt. Its goal was to prevent as much as possible the Ottoman Navy from resupplying the isolated Ottoman garrisons and land reinforcements from the Ottoman Empire's Asian provinces.

Although Greek crews were experienced seamen, the light Greek ships, mostly armed merchantmen, were unable to stand up to the large Turkish ships of the line in direct combat. So the Greeks conducted the equivalent of modern-day naval special operations, resorting to the use of fireships (Greek: πυρπολικά or μπουρλότα), with great success. It was in the use of such ships that courageous seamen like Constantine Kanaris won international renown. Under the leadership of capable admirals, most prominently Andreas Miaoulis of Hydra, the Greek fleet achieved early victories, guaranteeing the survival of the revolt in the mainland.

However, as Greece became embroiled in a civil war, the Sultan called upon his strongest subject, Muhammad Ali of Egypt, for aid. Plagued by internal strife and financial difficulties in keeping the fleet in constant readiness, the Greeks failed to prevent the capture and destruction of Kasos and Psara in 1824, or the landing of the Egyptian army at Modon. Despite victories at Samos and Gerontas, the Revolution was threatened with collapse until the intervention of the Great Powers in the Battle of Navarino in 1827. There the Egypto-Ottoman fleet was decisively defeated by the combined fleets of the Britain, France and the Russian Empire, effectively securing the independence of Greece.

When Ioannis Capodistrias became governor of newly liberated Greece in 1828, the Greek fleet consisted of few remaining ships, which had participated in the war for independence. The first minister of "Naval affairs" was Constantine Kanaris, and the most powerful ship of the fleet at that time, the frigate Hellas, had been constructed in the United States in 1825. The Hellenic Navy established its headquarters at the island of Poros and the building of a new series of ships began at the naval base[citation needed] while old ships were gradually being retired. Furthermore, continuous efforts towards the education of officers were initiated. Young people were initially trained at the military school of Scholi Evelpidon and afterwards they were transferred to the navy, as there was no such thing as a Naval Academy.[5]

In 1831, Greece descended into anarchy with numerous areas, including Mani and Hydra, in revolt. It was during this revolt that the flagship Hellas, docked at Poros, was set on fire by Admiral Andreas Miaoulis.[6] Capodistrias was assassinated a few months after.

The Royal Hellenic Navy of King Otto (1830–1860)Edit

When the new King Otto arrived in the Greek capital, Nafplion, in 1832 aboard the British warship HMS Madagascar, the Greek fleet consisted of 1 corvette, 3 brigs, 6 gollettes, 2 gunboats, 2 steamboats and a few more small vessels. The first Naval School was founded in 1846 on the Corvette Loudovikos and Leonidas Palaskas was assigned as its director. However the inefficient training of the officers, coupled with conflict between those who pursued modernization and those who were stalwarts of the traditions of the veterans of the struggle for independence, resulted in a restricted and inefficient navy, which was limited to policing the sea and the pursuit of pirates.

During the 1850s, the more progressive elements of the navy won out and the fleet was augmented with more ships. In 1855, the first iron propeller-driven ships were ordered from England. These were the steamships Panopi, Pliksavra, Afroessa, and Sfendoni.[5]

Growth of the Navy under King George (1860–1910)Edit

Navy uniforms in the 1890s
Battleship Psara

On October 29, 1863, following an enthronement ceremony in his native Copenhagen and a tour of several of the European capitals, Prince Wilhelm of Denmark arrived aboard the Greek flagship Hellas, to take up the throne as King George I of Greece. During the 1866 Cretan revolt, the ships of the Royal Hellenic Navy were in no condition to support it. Such failure led to the government awakening to the problem of naval insufficiency and the adoption of a policy stating that: "The navy, as it represents a necessary weapon for Greece, should only be created for war and aim to victory." Because of this, the fleet was supplied with new and bigger ships, reflecting a number of innovations including the use of iron in shipbuilding industry and the invention of the torpedo; with these advances, the effectiveness and the appearance of the Hellenic Navy changed.

Meanwhile, after 1878, because of the Russo-Turkish War and the need to expand the Greek navy, a new and larger naval base was established in the area of Faneromeni of Salamis and a few years later it was transferred to the area of Arapis where it remains today. At the same time the Naval Academy was founded and Ilias Kanellopoulos was made Director. A committee from France headed by Admiral Lejeune introduced a new, advanced naval organization and the methodological training of enlisted personnel through the establishment of a training school in the old building of the naval base in Poros. During the government of Charilaos Trikoupis in 1889, the fleet was further increased with the acquisition of new battleships:Hydra, Spetsai, and Psara from France. Thus, when Greece went to war in the Greco-Turkish War in 1897, the Hellenic Navy established its dominance in the Aegean Sea. However, it was unable to change the outcome of the war on land, which was a national humiliation.

In 1907, the Hellenic Navy General Staff (Γενικό Επιτελείο Ναυτικού) was founded, with then-Captain Pavlos Kountouriotis as its first head. After the war, in 1897, the Ottoman Empire embarked on a program of naval expansion for its fleet and as a response to that, in 1909, the cruiser Georgios Averof was bought from Italy. In 1910, an English naval mission arrived, headed by Admiral Tuffnel, in order to recommend improvements in the organization and training of the navy. The mission led to the adoption of the English style of management, organization and training, especially in the area of strategy.

Balkan Wars (1912–1913)Edit

Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis and the crew of armoured cruiser HS Georgios Averof in 1912.

The Navy, shortly before the Balkan Wars, was composed of a destroyer and battleship fleet. Its mission was primarily offensive, aiming at capturing the Ottoman-held islands of the Eastern Aegean, and establish naval supremacy in the area. To that end, its commander-in-chief, Rear Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis, established a forward base at the Moudros bay at Lemnos, directly opposite the Dardanelles straits. After defeating the two Turkish sallies from the Straits at Elli (December 1912) and Lemnos (January 1913), the Aegean Sea was secured for Greece.

The Balkan Wars were followed by a rapid escalation between Greece and the Ottoman Empire over the as yet unclear status of the islands of the Eastern Aegean. Both governments embarked on a naval armaments race, with Greece purchasing the obsolete battleships Lemnos and Kilkis and the light cruiser Elli as well as ordering two dreadnoughts, Vasilefs Konstantinos and Salamis and a number of destroyers. However, with the outbreak of the First World War, construction of the dreadnoughts stopped.

World War I and aftermath (1914–1935)Edit

Greek battleship Lemnos and torpedo boat Dafni during the occupation of Constantinople, 1919

Initially during the war, Greece followed a course of neutrality, with the Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos favoring the Entente and pro-German King Constantine I advocating neutrality. This dispute eventually led to a deep political conflict, known as the "National Schism". In November 1916, in order to apply pressure on the royal government in Athens, the French confiscated the Greek ships. They continued to operate with French crews, primarily in convoy escort and patrol duties in the Aegean, until Greece entered the war on the side of the Allies in June 1917, at which point they were returned to Greece. Subsequently, the Greek Navy took part in the Allied operations in the Aegean, in the Allied expedition in support of Denikin's White Armies in the Ukraine, and in the operations of the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922 in Asia Minor.

After Greece's catastrophic defeat, the 1920s and early 1930s were a politically turbulent period, with the economy in a bad state,[citation needed] so the Navy received no new units, apart from the modernization of four destroyers and the acquisition of six French submarines in 1927 and four Italian destroyers in 1929.

World War II (1935–1950)Edit

HS Georgios Averof in camouflage paint, RN Bombay Station, 1942, while serving under UK Royal Navy command

In 1938, Greece ordered four modern Greyhound-class destroyers in British shipyards, making a serious step towards modernization. The outbreak of war in Europe, however, allowed only two to be delivered. Greece entered World War II with a navy consisting of 2 battleships, 1 armoured cruiser, 14 destroyers, and 6 submarines.[7]

During the Greco-Italian War, the Navy took over convoy escort missions in the Ionian Sea and even embarked on three raids against the Italian supply convoys in the Strait of Otranto, although without success. The most important role was given to the submarines, which although obsolete, sank some Italian cargo ships in the Adriatic, losing one submarine in the process. The Greek submarine force (six boats) was however too small to be able to seriously hinder the supply lines between Italy and Albania (between 28 October 1940 and 30 April 1941, Italian ships made 3,305 voyages across the Otranto straits, carrying 487,089 military personnel, including 22 field divisions, and 584,392 tons of supplies while losing overall only seven merchant ships and one escort ship).[8]

When Nazi Germany attacked Greece, the RHN suffered heavily at the hands of the Luftwaffe, with 25 ships, including the old battleship, now artillery training ship, Kilkis and the hulk of her sister Lemnos, lost within a few days in April 1941. It was then decided to shift the remaining fleet (one cruiser – the famous Georgios Averof – three destroyers and five submarines) to join up with the British Mediterranean Fleet at Alexandria.

As the war progressed, the number of Hellenic Royal Navy vessels increased after the concession of several destroyers and submarines by the British Royal Navy. The most notable aspects of the Hellenic Royal Navy's participation in World War II include the operations of the destroyer Vasilissa Olga which, until sunk in Leros on September 23, 1943, was the most successful Allied destroyer in the Mediterranean Sea; the participation of two destroyers in Operation Overlord; and the story of the destroyer Adrias, which while operating close to the coast of Kalymnos in October 1943 hit a mine, resulting in the loss of the vessel's prow, while blowing the two-gun forward turret over the bridge. After some minor repairs at Gümüşlük Bay in Turkey Adrias managed to return to Alexandria in a 400-mile (640 km) trip, even though all the forepart of the ship, up to the bridge, was missing.

Post-war era (1950–1980)Edit

The destroyer Kanaris (D212), a few weeks before decommission

After World War II, the Royal Hellenic Navy was significantly strengthened by the concession of British and Italian ships. The organisation also changed in line with modern naval doctrines of that era after the entrance into NATO in 1952. At the beginning of the 1950s, US military aid formed the core of the country's armed forces. The Royal Hellenic Navy received the first Bostwick-class destroyers which took on the name Beasts (Θηρία), while withdrawing the British ones.

The next significant change was during the early 1970s, when Greece was the first Mediterranean naval force to order missile-equipped fast attack craft (Combattante II) and the Type 209 submarines, whereas US military aid continued in the form of FRAM II type destroyers. In 1979, the Hellenic Navy placed an order in the Netherlands for two modern Standard-class frigates (the Elli class). These were the first acquisitions of new main surface vessels, rather than the use of second-hand ships, in almost four decades.

1980 to presentEdit

The Charles F. Adams-destroyer USS Berkeley in 1984, later in Greek service as HS Themistocles (D221).

The arrivals of Hydra class (MEKO 200 HN) and more Standard-class frigates along with the orders for more missile corvettes, Poseidon-class (Type 209) submarines and naval helicopters allowed the retirement of the obsolete vessels. Greece also received four Charles F. Adams-class destroyers from the US Navy in 1991–1992. All four were decommissioned after only ten years in service, since their electronics and armament eventually became obsolete and they required large crews. The advance continued when Greece ordered Type 214 submarines that feature an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system, Sikorsky S-70B-6/10 Aegean Hawk helicopters and Project 1232.2 Zubr-class hovercraft from Russia and Ukraine. Plans included the modernization of Standard-class frigates with new electronics and radar systems, the modernization of Glaukos and Poseidon-class submarines with new sonars, electronics and air-independent propulsion engines (programs Neptune I/II).

Chain of CommandEdit


Main CommandsEdit

Greek Name English Name Location
Γενικόν Επιτελείον Ναυτικού (ΓΕΝ) Hellenic Navy General Staff Athens
Αρχηγείον Στόλου (ΑΣ) Fleet Headquarters Salamis Island
Ναυτική Διοίκηση Αιγαίου (ΝΔΑ) Aegean Sea Naval Command Piraeus
Ναυτική Διοίκηση Ιονίου (ΝΔΙ) Ionian Sea Naval Command Patras
Ναυτική Διοίκηση Βορείου Ελλάδος (ΝΔΒΕ) Northern Greece Naval Command Thessaloniki
Διοίκηση Ναυτικής Εκπαίδευσης (ΔΝΕ) Naval Training Command Skaramagas
Διοίκηση Διοικητικής Μέριμνας (ΔΔΜΝ) Logistics Command Athens
Διοίκηση Αεροπορίας Ναυτικού (ΔΑΝ) Navy Aviation Command Grammatiko
Ναύσταθμος Κρήτης Crete Naval Base Souda Bay, Chania
Ναύσταθμος Σαλαμίνας Salamis Naval Base Salamis Island
Υδρογραφική Υπηρεσία Hydrographic Service[10] Athens
Υπηρεσία Φάρων Lighthouse Command[11] Piraeus

Combat ArmsEdit

Combat Support ArmsEdit

  • Διοίκηση Ναρκοπολέμου (ΔΝΑΡ) Minesweeper Command

Combat Service SupportEdit

  • Σχολή Εξάσκησης Ναυτικής Τακτικής (ΣΕΝΤ) Naval Tactical Training School (under Fleet Headquarters)



The Hellenic Navy's fleet of 116 warships and auxiliary boats is harboured in the two major HN Naval Bases at Salamis Island near Piraeus and at Souda Bay on the island of Crete.

Frigates (Greek: Φρεγάτες, romanizedFregates)Edit

The Hellenic Navy flagship frigate HS Spetsai in the Red Sea while transiting to the Persian Gulf on Operation INAS BAHR (Friendly Seas).
Scale model of the FTI (Frégate de Taille Intermédiaire) "Belharra" frigate, revealed at the 2016 Euronaval exhibition.

The Hellenic Navy relies mainly on frigates as its primary heavy battleships. The fleet consists of thirteen frigates. The types operated are the Hydra class (Type: Meko-200HN)[12] and the Elli class (Type: Kortenaer). The Elli-class frigates HS Elli and HS Limnos were sold to Greece during construction, the rest were bought directly from the Dutch Navy. The Hydra-class vessels were constructed in Greece by Hellenic Shipyards Co., except from HS Hydra that was constructed by the German company Blohm and Voss based in Hamburg. Modernization of six frigates was completed in 2010.[13] The intention for the Hydra-class vessels was, as of February 2015, to be modernised with a €400 million upgrade that would extend their operational life to 2035.[14]

In 2018, Greece entered talks with France for the purchase of the next generation, multipurpose, mid-size, stealth frigate (FTI) "Belharra",[15][16][17] that is being developed by the French company DCNS (now Naval Group) and has already been selected by the French Navy as its next generation platform. As an alternative, the Hellenic Navy was also proposed the Greek-designed, next-gen, stealth corvette/frigate "ALS Class-100",[18][19] developed by the Greek company NSD Group.

In July 2019 [20] and later in October of the same year, a top Naval Group representative and the French Minister of Defence confirmed that, after signing a Letter of Intent (LoI),[21][22] Greece and France were actively implementing a bilateral agreement, that included the purchase from Greece of two multi-purpose FTI frigates with an option for two additional ships and relative infrastructure for future co-production for a cost of $2 billion, starting in 2023.[23][24] The construction of the first Greek FTI vessel would begin immediately after the completion of the first French ship, subsequently involving fully the Hellenic Navy in the FTI Belh@rra project. Thereafter, cost for construction of future vessels would decrease significantly, taking into account Greece's participation with coproduction. The configuration for the Hellenic Navy vessels will differ from the French ones, only in respect to the interest of Greece for integration of wide-range, deep-strike missiles (MBDA's Naval Cruise Missile), that could be exclusively supported by the Greek configuration.[25]

One interesting fact is that Greek frigate HS Psara carries permanently on its onboard historical exhibition, three reliquaries. Two contain the taxidermic hearts of Greek War of Independence heroes Admiral Constantine Kanaris and Admiral Andreas Miaoulis and one reliquary contains the remains of heroine Rear Admiral (posthumous) Laskarina Bouboulina. The frigate's exhibition can be visited whenever the ship opens to the public during National Holidays and celebrations.

Gunboats (Greek: Κανονιοφόροι, romanizedKanonioforae)Edit

Gunboat HS Navmachos at Phaleron Bay

The Hellenic Navy operates ten gunboats of the Osprey and Asheville classes. Both Osprey HSY-55 and Osprey HSY-56A classes are designed by the Hellenic Navy following a modular concept so that weapons and sensors can be changed as required. They were built by Hellenic Shipyards (HSY) in Greece. These vessels are similar in appearance to Osprey 55-class gunboats. The first pair was ordered on 20 February 1990. HS Pyrpolitis was launched on 16 September 1992 and HS Polemistis on 21 June 1993. Each ship can carry 25 fully equipped troops. Alternative guns and Harpoon missiles can be fitted as required. Pyrpolitis was renamed Kasos on 11 November 2005, after the island of Kasos in the Dodecanese. The ship is based in the area of Kasos, and the name recognises the island and the Kasos Massacre during the Greek War of Independence.[26] The two Asheville Class gunboats are former US Navy vessels, bought and transferred to Greece in 1989.

Missile boats (Greek: Τορπιλάκατοι, romanizedTorpilakatae)Edit

Missile boat HS Xenos underway

The fleet consists of nineteen missile boats also known as fast attack missile craft. Two new ships (P78 and P79) entered service in 2019. The main purpose of these vessels is offensive anti-ship warfare. The Hellenic Navy operates four types of missile boats. These are the Roussen (Super-Vita), Laskos (La Combattante III), [La Combattante III-class fast attack craft|Kavaloudis (La Combattante IIIb)]] and Votsis (La Combattante IIa) classes. The La Combattante III and La Combattante IIIb classes were upgraded in 2006. For the La Combattante III craft, Thales delivered a TACTICOS combat management system, including four multi-functional operator consoles, one surveillance radar, a fire-control tracking system, one electro-optical tracking and fire control system, an integrated low-probability-of-interception radar, two target designation sights and a tactical data link. The weapon suite of the La Combattante IIIs remained unchanged. Thales was also responsible for the integration of existing guns, surface-to-surface missiles and torpedoes. The La Combattante IIa ships are scheduled to be decommissioned upon completion of the two newly ordered Roussen gunboats.

Submarines (Greek: Υποβρύχια, romanizedHypovrehea)Edit

Type 214 submarine HS Papanikolis under construction

The Hellenic Navy Submarine Command operates eleven submarines of four types. The newest and most advanced type operated is the Type 214 Papanikolis class, which is widely considered to be among the most advanced conventional (non-nuclear) propulsion submarines in service with naval forces at the moment. The Type 214 is a diesel-electric submarine developed by the German Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft GmbH (HDW). It features diesel propulsion with an air-independent propulsion (AIP) system using Siemens polymer electrolyte membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel cells. A contract to build four boats for the Hellenic Navy was signed between February 2000 and June 2002. The first boat was built at HDW in Kiel, Germany, and the rest at Hellenic Shipyards Co. in Skaramangas, Greece. The Hellenic Navy named them the Papanikolis class. Other types operated are the 209/1100 Glavkos class, the 209/1200 Poseidon class and one boat of the 209/1200 Okeanos class. The Glavkos submarines were upgraded with the "Neptune I" modernisation program and the Poseidon and Okeanos vessels with the "Neptune II" program. The Okeanos upgrade included AIP capabilities very similar to Type 214 so extensive to justify HS Okeanos as a new, separate class when compared to the rest of Type 209/1200 vessels. New dimensions are similar to Type 214 boats.

Landing boats (Greek: Αποβατικά, romanizedApovatika)Edit

Greek-built Jason-class (LST) landing ship HS Chios at Phaleron Bay

The Hellenic Navy currently operates nine tank landing ships (LST), five of the Greek-built Jason class and four heavy military hovercraft of the Ukrainian/Russian-built Zubr class. The Jason landing craft are capable of transporting 287 troops plus 22 battle tanks or any other combination of other armoured vehicles. The Zubr craft have a military lift of total 130 tonnes of cargo with 3 battle tanks, 8 armoured vehicles, 10 personnel carriers and 140 troops or combinations of those and a speed of 40 knots when fully loaded. The Zubr class (Project 1232.2 / NATO codename: "Pomornik") is an air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC). This class of military hovercraft is, as of 2012, the world's largest, with a standard full load displacement of 555 tons.[27] The hovercraft is designed to sealift amphibious assault units (such as marines and tanks) from equipped or non-equipped vessels to non-equipped shores, as well as transport and plant naval mines. The purchase of HS Cephalonia for the Hellenic Navy was the first time a Soviet design had been built for and purchased by a NATO member.[28][29][30][31]

Replenishment and other vesselsEdit

The Hellenic Navy operates fourteen replenishment ships including petroleum tankers, water tankers and auxiliary vessels. It also operates two Greek-built transport ships of the Pandora class, six coastline patrol boats, four minesweepers, three torpedo retrievers, seventeen tugboats (both open sea and harbour), four oceanographic & scientific research vessels and two lighthouse tenders. The Navy also preserves three memorial ships including the Pisa-class armoured cruiser HS Georgios Averof which is the only armoured cruiser worldwide still in existence and, although it is permanently a harboured museum ship, is ceremoniously considered in active-service carrying the Rear Admiral's Rank Flag.


Hellenic Navy S-70B Aegean Hawk at Archangel 2005 airshow

The Hellenic Navy operates naval aviation units under the Navy Aviation Command,[32] that resulted from the amalgamation of the Navy Helicopter Command and the 353rd Naval Cooperation Squadron, which was run jointly with the Hellenic Air Force.

It currently operates:[33]

  • Lockheed Martin P-3B Orions as maritime patrol and naval cooperation platforms. Four upgraded aircraft have gradually started to re-enter the fleet, after a $142 million contract for their upgrade was awarded in February 2016 to Lockheed Martin.[34]
  • Sikorsky S-70B Seahawks, which is the export variant of the Sikorsky SH-60 Seahawk. Furthermore, the Greek variant is the S-70/B-6 Aegean Hawk, which is a blend of the SH-60B and F-models.
  • Aérospatiale Alouette IIIs, mainly used for missions such as aerial observation, photography, transport and training.
  • Agusta Bell AB-212 ASWs, which is the military variant of the Bell 212, dedicated to anti-submarine warfare.

Ranks and insigniaEdit

Commissioned OfficersEdit

NATO code OF-10 OF-9 OF-8 OF-7 OF-6 OF-5 OF-4 OF-3 OF-2 OF-1 OF(D) Student officer
No equivalent                                  No equivalent
Admiral Vice Admiral Rear Admiral Commodore Captain Commander Lieutenant Commander Lieutenant Sub Lieutenant Ensign Officer Designate
Ναύαρχος Αντιναύαρχος Υποναύαρχος Αρχιπλοίαρχος Πλοίαρχος Αντιπλοίαρχος Πλωτάρχης Υποπλοίαρχος Ανθυποπλοίαρχος Σημαιοφόρος Σημαιοφόρος Επίκουρος Αξιωματικός

NCOs and EnlistedEdit

NATO Code OR-9 OR-8 OR-7 OR-6 OR-5 OR-4 OR-3 OR-2 OR-1
                 No equivalent  
No equivalent
Warrant Officer Master Chief Petty Officer Senior Chief Petty Officer Chief Petty Officer Leading Seaman Seaman
Ανθυπασπιστής[note 1] Αρχικελευστής Επικελευστής Κελευστής Δίοπος Ναύτης

Hellenic Navy FlagsEdit

Photo galleryEdit

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Greece has only one level of warrant officer. According to the current issue (2010) of STANAG 2116, the Greek warrant officers are included in OR-9; however, they are afforded the privileges of an officer. See STANAG 2116 note 16.


  1. ^ a b Thucydides (1910). "1.143.5". The Peloponnesian War. London; New York: J. M. Dent; E. P. Dutton. At the Perseus Project.
  2. ^ "Total Naval Strength by Country". Globalfirepower.com. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  3. ^ Thucydides (1942). "1.143.5". Historiae in two volumes (in Greek). Oxford: Oxford University Press. At the Perseus Project.
  4. ^ Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War, 1.143.
  5. ^ a b Official website of the Hellenic Navy Archived 2007-08-22 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Politics and Statecraft in the Kingdom of Greece, John Anthony Petropulos, Princeton University Press, 1968.
  7. ^ Vice Admiral C. Paizis-Paradellis, HN (2002). Hellenic Warships 1829–2001 (3rd Edition). Athens, Greece: The Society for the study of Greek History. p. 205. ISBN 960-8172-14-4.
  8. ^ Pier Filippo Lupinacci, Vittorio Emanuele Tognelli, La difesa del traffico con l'Albania, la Grecia e l'Egeo, Ufficio Storico della Marina Militare, Rome 1965, pp. 47-49.
  9. ^ Heyman, Charles (2011). The Armed Forces of the European Union 2012–2013. Pen & Sword Books Ltd. p. 53.
  10. ^ http://www.hnhs.gr/
  11. ^ "Υπηρεσία Φάρων". Hellenicnavy.gr. Archived from the original on 2010-01-11. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
  12. ^ Koukourouzis, Nikos. "HELLENIC NAVY – Frigates Class Meko-200HN". Hellenicnavy.gr. Archived from the original on 2008-05-30. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
  13. ^ "DefenceNet – HN's future planning and new procurement policy". Defencenet.gr. Archived from the original on 2009-12-10. Retrieved 2009-08-06.
  14. ^ Scott, Richard (4 February 2015). "Greece scopes plan for MEKO 200HN mid-life modernisation". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Retrieved 2015-07-14.
  15. ^ Vavasseur, Xavier (6 June 2019). "Greece Sends LOI to France for Belharra Frigates, Looking for Financing". Naval News. Retrieved 10 October 2019.
  16. ^ "Hellenic Navy Briefed on Naval Group's Belharra Frigate". Navyrecognition.com.
  17. ^ Article in Greek. "Belh@rra: The New Frigate on the horizon". Defence & Diplomacy. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  18. ^ Article in Greek. "The Greek Designed frigate ALS CLASS 100". Flight and Space magazine. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
  19. ^ Article in Greek. "ALS CLASS 100 Multi-Purpose Corvette". Hellenic Institute of Naval Technology. Retrieved 27 March 2019.
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Further readingEdit