HS Salamis (F455) is the fourth of four Hydra-class guided-missile frigates in service with the Hellenic Navy. The group was developed from the German MEKO 200 design with the lead ship, HS Hydra (F452) constructed by shipbuilder Blohm und Voss. The remaining three vessels were completed by Hellenic Shipyards. HS Salamis, named after the Battle of Salamis (480 BC), saw her keel laid down on December 20th, 1994. Launched on May 15th, 1996, the warship was formally commissioned into the Hellenic Navy on December 16th, 1998 and maintains an active presence in the Greek fleet.
As with the other Hydra-class vessels, Salamis displaces near 3,350 tons, have a running length of 384 feet, a beam measuring 49 feet, and a draught down to 20 feet. Its propulsion scheme is wholly conventional and arranged around the CODOG (COmbined Diesel-Or-Gas) configuration involving 2 x MTU 20V956 marine diesel engines of 10,040 horsepower coupled with 2 x General Electric LM2500 gas turbines of 60,656 horsepower. This hybrid approach allows the warship to conserve fuel when cruising and expend greater energy when needing to dash at full speed. Ocean-going speeds in ideal conditions can reach beyond 30 knots while operational range is out to 4,100 nautical miles.
Aboard is a crew complement of about 173 sailors. Various systems are installed for search, tracking, and engagement purposes as well as communications. This includes air / surface search radars, fire control directors, navigational aids, torpedo decoys, and sonar (both hull-mounted and tow-behind types featured).
Armament consists of 1 x 127mm Mk 45 Mod 2A turreted main gun at the forecastle, the Mk 48 Mod 2 Vertical Launch System (VLS) housing 16 x RIM-162 "Evolved Sea Sparrow Missile" medium-ranged Surface-to-Air Missiles (SAMs), 2 x Mk 141 "Harpoon" quadruple anti-ship missile launchers (near midships), 2 x Mk 15 "Phalanx" Close-In Weapon Systems (CIWSs), and 2 x 324 Mk 32 torpedo launchers. All told, the warship can engage aircraft, surface ships, and submarines with equal lethality as short-to-medium ranges.
In addition to this is support for the Sikorsky SH-70B-6 "Aegean Hawk" navy helicopter equipped for the anti-ship / anti-submarine warfare role. It can also provide a much-needed Over-the-Horizon (OtH) vantage point and search for downed airmen. A full-service hangar facility is provided for support.
Based on the Hydra design, Salamis shares the same design lines. This includes a raised bow, unbroken hull line, and stepped rear section. The bridge is positioned aft of the deck turret and forward Phalanx defensive system while, overhead, is the primary forward mast with the shorter aft-mast following. The smoke funnels are enclosed and of a low profile. The hull superstructure continues toward the stern and terminates in the aforementioned hangar/helipad area.
As of this writing, HS Salamis remains active in service to the Hellenic Navy and an important part of Greek naval prowess in the Aegean and Mediterranean - particularly with the emerging threat of neighboring Turkey. Beyond the service's mix of Hydra-class and Elli-class frigates is a collection of submarines, missile boats, gunboats, and supporting ships (including mine sweepers).