Hellenic Navy is planning to create a 9 ships strong flotilla and deploy this force to its naval base in Crete, at Souda Bay. The Hellenic Navy currently has one main naval base at the island of Salamis near Athens and a secondary naval base at the island of Crete.
Till now the ships of the Hellenic Navy are based in Salamis and only few ships visit occasionally the naval base in Crete for replenishment when they conduct patrol missions in the region.
The new strategy of the Hellenic Navy includes the creation of a new 9 ships strong flotilla that will be based in Crete for a period of 30 days. At the end of every month the flotilla will be replaced with another one of similar strength.
This rotation scheme will continue throughout the year and will allow the Hellenic Navy to maintain a strong presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, the southeastern Aegean Sea and the Libyan Sea.
The new flotilla will include three frigates, three fast attack missile boats, two submarines and one fleet replenishment ship. The new flotilla represents 16% of the total surface and submarine force of the Hellenic Navy fleet.
This is the first time since the 1970’s that the Hellenic Navy decides to split the fleet and permanently base a strong naval force in Crete.
The naval base in Crete was founded in 1951 and it occupies an area of 500 hectares, including the old artillery barracks of the Hellenic Army’s 5th Infantry Division and later land acquisitions.
The naval base is divided in two sectors, located on both sides of the Souda Bay, the Southern and the Northern Sector.
The facilities of the naval base include a dry dock, three floating docks, three piers, workshops, a fuel depot, an ammunition depot and a military hospital.
The new flotilla will conduct patrol missions in the Eastern Mediterranean, the southeastern Aegean Sea and the Libyan Sea.