The modern Hellenic (Greek) Navy currently fields two different frigate types, the Elli-class of Cold War vintage and the more modern Hydra-class. The former numbers nine vessels in all while the latter is comprised of just four warships. The vessels are detailed as "guided-missile frigates" due to their focus on missile armament and are designed to operate in Blue Water and close-to-shore scenarios. The Elli-class, the focus of this article, was developed from the Dutch-originated Kortenaer-class (also "S-class"). Lead ship HS Elli (F450) maintains an active presence in the Greek fleet.
HS Elli (F450), named after the Battle of Elli (1912), was constructed by the specialists of Royal Schelde and launched on October 10th, 1981. She was formally commissioned for service in the Hellenic Navy in 1982, displacing 3,360 tons under standard loads and measuring 428 feet long with a beam of 48 feet and a draught down to 20 feet.
Power is by way of a COGOG (COmbined Gas-Or-Gas) arrangement maximizing cruising and dashing efficiency. This arrangement is comprised of 2 x Rolls-Royce Tyne RM1C gas turbines of 4,900 horsepower (each) with 2 x Rolls-Royce Olympus TM3B gas turbines of 25,700 horsepower (each). The TM3B installations come into play for fast dashing, or boost, actions required of the ship. The engines drive propulsion power to 2 x Shafts under the stern, giving the warship headway speeds nearing 30 knots (20 knots when general cruising) with an operational range out to 4,700 nautical miles.
Armament is missile-centric though still based in projectile/ballistic types. There are 2 x 76mm /62 caliber OTO-Melara turreted deck guns in play along with 2 x 20mm Mk 15 Phalanx Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs). Missile armament includes 1 x Mk 29 RIM-7M "Sea Sparrow" Surface-to-Air Missile (SAM) system with 24 missile reloads. 2 x Mk 141 quadruple launchers house 8 total "Harpoon" anti-ship missiles. Beyond this are 2 x 324mm Mk 32 twin-tube torpedo launchers. All told, the vessel is well-equipped to counter most any threat found on the high seas, over it or under it. In this way it can engage, at range, surface threats, aerial threats, and undersea threats as needed.
The warship also supports up to two medium-lift helicopters from its stern-based helipad/hangar combination structure. These rotary-wing aircraft can be outfitted for anti-ship / anti-submarine warfare, Search and Rescue (SAR), and other pertinent over-water roles.
The ship's profile is consistent with ship design of the 1980s: the structure is largely stepped from bow to stern. The bow is slightly raised and seats one of the two turreted main guns. Aft of this is a box-style launching weapon system just ahead of the bridge superstructure. The bridge superstructure is home to the main mast which is enclosed an seats all manner of communications, radar, and processing systems. A mid-mast is integrated against the low-profile smoke funnels at midships with the third mast seated atop the aft-superstructure that also makes up the helicopter hangar. The helipad takes up its usual place at the extreme rear of the hull.
HS Elli, unlike some of her sisters, is a wholly Greek warship - other entries of the class are ex-Dutch Navy forms. She joins HS Limnos in that regard. Setting sail for the first time in October of 1981, the ship made it to Greek waters in November of that year. The ship was a participant in the Persian Gulf War of 1990-1991 forming part of the allied coalition against Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Beyond this, the vessel has maintained a rather low-profile operational existence.