[Interview] Salamis Shipyards and Naval Group Hellas, a remarkable Franco-Greek collaboration

05 April 2024 Surface ships

A perfect illustration of a successful collaboration! In February 2024, five blocks for the fourth defence and intervention frigate (FDI) were successfully transported from the Salamis Shipyards site in Salamis, Greece, to the Naval Group site in Lorient, France. Isidoros Papalas, Sales Director of the Greek shipyard, and Benoît Janot, Production Manager of the Naval Group Hellas subsidiary in Athens, tell us about this extraordinary partnership dating back to 2022.

How is your collaboration going more than a year into this partnership?

Isidoros Papalas: Perfectly! Teams from Naval Group and Salamis Shipyards really hit it off right from the beginning! The skills shared by Naval Group’s teams as part of the transfer of technology have been truly beneficial for us; Naval Group Hellas has provided us with all the necessary help and assistance and we have been successful in meeting our objective in terms of fulfilling the group’s specifications.

Benoît Janot: It’s a real pleasure working with teams from Salamis. I arrived a year ago and was welcomed straight away. We share a common objective, namely to deliver the best quality blocks possible and I’m pleased to say, we’ve succeeded!  We were able to achieve our objectives easily thanks to the high level of technical expertise of the teams involved.


Can you tell us more about the transfer of technology?

Isidoros Papalas: Salamis Shipyards has long-standing experience in complex conversions and new-builds. While we already had a high level of managerial and technical expertise, including advanced production equipment and an in-house design department, we wanted to take things even further.

Naval Group supported us in reviewing our management processes as well as those for occupational health and safety. We also took steps to increase our competitiveness by investing in new resources such as a new plasma cutting machine, welding hardware and other equipment. Adapting and deploying Naval Group’s cutting-edge technology has made all the difference and a lot has changed in just a year!

Benoît Janot: A special effort has been made and resources have been deployed to guarantee safety. We are proud of the fact that no accidents occurred while building the blocks for the fourth defence and intervention frigate.


How have both stakeholders benefited from this partnership?

Benoît Janot: Our technicians were impressed by the quality of the welds produced by Salamis welders and the work on truing of blocks. Their assembly method reduces the distortion of plates during welding. Our trade team found this process interesting and is now looking into adopting some of these good practices on the site of Lorient.

Isidoros Papalas: The group has extensive experience in this area, allowing us to discover new construction methods and adapt those used by the Naval Group site of Lorient. It was rewarding to be able to discuss our respective methods, challenge our practices and achieve this kind of result.


What feedback can you give us on this collaboration?

Isidoros Papalas: We have achieved a very high level of expertise! This has been a remarkable collaboration for us, one we look forward to pursuing.

Benoît Janot: The Salamis shipyard is not just a subcontractor but a real partner!


What are the next steps for Salamis Shipyards and Naval Group?

Benoît Janot: The blocks for the fourth defence and intervention frigate have now been completed. We started building blocks for the fifth frigate a few months ago and aim to achieve an equally high quality as for those already built while increasing the pre-outfitting rate inside the blocks.

Isidoros Papalas: This collaboration is highly favourable to our shipyard’s business and development perspectives. We are keen on fostering a long-lasting partnership with Naval Group and look forward to collaborating on other projects in the future!


Key dates :

September 2019: Salamis and Naval Group begin talks

June 2022: Salamis Shipyards becomes a Naval Group supplier

18 October 2022: the contract is signed

November 2022: production engineering of blocks for FDI no.4 begins

January 2023: the first plate is cut

February 2024: 5 blocks for FDI no.4 are delivered to the Naval Group site in Lorient

July 2024: 5 blocks for FDI no.5 will be delivered to the Naval Group site in Lorient.