Roussen-class fast attack craft
HS Roussen, P-67 in Piraeus during Saint Nicholas festival of 2009.
|Name:||Roussen, Super Vita|
|Preceded by:||La Combattante IIIb|
|In commission:||2005 - present day|
|Displacement:||580 tons / 668 tons fully loaded|
|Propulsion:||4 × MTU 16V595 TE90 diesel engines 23,500 hp|
|Speed:||35 knots (65 km/h; 40 mph)|
|Sensors and |
|Electronic warfare |
The Roussen class is a seven-strong class of British-design fast attack missile boats improved and customized for the Hellenic Navy, also known as Super Vita. The class is named after its lead ship, which in turn is named after Lt Nikolaos Roussen, a World War II submarines officer who was killed in the suppression of the Navy mutiny in April 1944.
The modernization program of the Hellenic Navy in the late 1990s included the construction of three modern missile boats and was signed in January 2000. The construction took place at the Elefsis Shipyards, while Vosper Thornycroft (now BAE Systems Surface Ships) provided the necessary design, logistical support and equipment for the ships. On August, 2003 and September, 2008 options that provided the acquisition of four more vessels were activated with the last ship to be commissioned in 2015.
On September 25, 2008, a 299 million Euro contract was signed between the Greek State and the Elefsis Shipyards for the construction of the two remaining vessels of the class, P-78 and P-79. According to the contract, the delivery times of the two FACs were 46 months from the start of the contract for the first ship and 52 months for the second. Due to serious financial problems of the shipyards and the Greek state, there has been a 10 year delay in the construction of the two ships. In 2016 the Greek government decided that the Hellenic Navy should undertake the completion of the construction of the two vessels. The plan was that the two vessels should have been launched not later then 18 months after the signing of the contract and that they should have been delivered in the navy not later then 2019. In 2017, in a statement of alternate defense minister D. Vitsas there were hopes that the construction would have finished in mid 2018. Finally, on June 1, 2018, the launch of the 6th Super Vita P-78 took place at the Elefsina Shipyards. There was no information about the progress of construction of P-79. According to some reports the acceptance of the two ships in the navy was not programmed to happen before 2020. In April 2020, there were articles in Greek defence news sites mentioning that in May 2020, it is expected that the 6th vessel will conduct the final tests at sea and will be delivered for acceptance into the Hellenic Navy. There were no announcements about the date of possible acceptance of the 7th vessel but it is probably not going to happen before 2021.
The plans of the Roussen Class missile boats are based on smaller Vita class boats serving in the navies of Qatar, as well as similar size vessels built for Oman and other countries. The hull is made of steel and the superstructure is made of Aluminum, while the company Vosper Thornycroft (now BAE Systems Surface Ships) provides the electricity transmission system, the management board, electrical equipment and systems countermeasures.
Weapons and electronics
The main armament of the ships are eight Exocet MM40 Block II/III anti-ship missiles with a range of up to 70/180 km respectively. They are complemented by an Otobreda 76 mm naval gun in the bow and two smaller 30mm cannons as secondary weapons located on the ships' superstructure. The vessel's primary anti-air and anti-missile weapon is the RIM-116 RAM missile system which comprises an on board Mk-31 launcher with 21 projectiles, as well as the DR3000 and AR900 electronic support measures systems and the Mk36 SRBOC decoy launcher.
The sensor suite responsible for the timely identification and homing of surface and air targets includes the MW08 3D G-band surveillance radar, the Mirador electro-optical target tracker and the Scout MkII low probability of intercept radar which is being controlled by the TACTICOS combat management system.
The ships of these class are named after junior officers of the Hellenic Navy who have been killed in action. They are:
|P 67||Υποπλοίαρχος Ρουσσέν||Ypoploiarchos Roussen||Lieutenant Nikolaos Roussen, killed during the suppression of the naval mutiny of 1944.||Elefsis Shipyards||12 November 2002||20 December 2005||In service (2020)|
|P 68||Υποπλοίαρχος Δανιόλος||Ypoploiarchos Daniolos||Lieutenant Antonios Daniolos, executive officer of the submarine Triton, killed when the ship was sunk by the Germans on 16 November 1942||Elefsis Shipyards||8 July 2003||22 February 2006||In service (2020)|
|P 69||Υποπλοίαρχος Κρυσταλλίδης||Ypoploiarchos Krystallidis||Lieutenant Vyron Kristallidis, crew member of the auxiliary ship Pleias, killed when the ship was sunk by the Germans on 22 April 1941||Elefsis Shipyards||6 April 2004||8 May 2006||In service (2020)|
|P 70||Υποπλοίαρχος Γρηγορόπουλος||Ypoploiarchos Grigoropoulos||Lieutenant Michail Grigoropoulos, executive officer of the destroyer Vasilissa Olga, killed when the ship was sunk by the Germans on 26 September 1943||Elefsis Shipyards||20 December 2005||1 October 2010||In service (2020)|
|P 71||Υποπλοίαρχος Ρίτσος||Ypoploiarchos Ritsos||Lieutenant Nikolaos Ritsos, killed on 16 November 1912 as commander of a naval infantry company during the capture of Chios from the Ottomans||Elefsis Shipyards||6 October 2006||10 January 2015||In service (2020)|
|P 78||Υποπλοίαρχος Καραθανάσης||Ypoploiarchos Karathanasis||Lieutenant Christodoulos Karathanasis, killed on 31 January 1996, during the Imia crisis, when the AB 212 helicopter PN 21 crashed into the sea||Elefsis Shipyards||1 June 2018||2020 (expected)||Sea Trials|
|P 79||Υποπλοίαρχος Βλαχάκος||Ypoploiarchos Vlachakos||Lieutenant Panagiotis Vlachakos, killed on 31 January 1996, during the Imia crisis, when the AB 212 helicopter PN 21 crashed into the sea||Elefsis Shipyards||2020 (expected)||Under construction|
- Sa'ar 4.5-class missile boat
- Houbei class missile boat
- Skjold class patrol boat
- Hamina class missile boat
Adm. James G. Foggo III, commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe-Africa and commander, Allied Joint Force Command Naples, Italy, returns a salute from crewmembers aboard Hellenic Navy Roussen-class fast attack craft HS P-71 Ritsos as he arrives at a Salamis Naval Base in Greece, May 10, 2018
- Information and photos about the ships, Hellenic Navy official website (in Greek)
- Article with detailed information and photos of the Roussen class FACs in navalanalyses.com (11/06/2014)
- Statement by the alternate minister of Defense Dimitris Vitsas about the progress of the construction of the two vessels while he visited Elefsis Shipyards on 28 July 2017
- Drone video of the launching of P-78 Karathanasis
- Article in Greek news site "Iefimerida.gr" about the launching of P-78, 28/07/2018
- "Defence-point.gr" Greek defense website, 31/08/2018
- Article in Greek online defence magazine defencereview.gr 26 April 2020 (in Greek)
- "Πυραυλάκατοι (ΤΠΚ) τύπου ΡΟΥΣΣΕΝ" (in Greek). Hellenic Navy. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
- "Roussen Class (62m Super Vita) Fast Attack Missile Craft, Greece". Naval-Technology.com. SPG Media Limited. Retrieved January 29, 2009.
- Wertheim, Eric (2007). The Naval Institute Guide to Combat Fleets of the World: Their Ships, Aircraft, and Systems. Naval Institute Press. p. 267.