The naming ceremony of the General Support Ship “Heracles”, a Panagiotis Laskaridis’ donation to our Navy, was attended by Her Excellence, President of Greece, Katerina Sakellaropoulou, Minister of National Defence, Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, First Vice-President of the Greek Parliament Ioannis Tragakis, Vice-Admiral Stylianos Petrakis, Chief of the Defence Staff Konstantinos Floros and others.
Heracles is the second general support ship that Mr. Laskaridis and his family donate to the Greek Navy. The first one goes sails by the name of “ATLAS I” and was donated by the Laskaridis family in December 2019..
The general support ship “HERACLES” has a length of 85 meters, displacement of 7.000 tons, maximum carrying capacity of 4.500 tons (regardless of cargo type) and a maximum speed of 15 knots. It was built in Norway in 2002 as an offshore supply ship for liquid and dry cargo transportation for the North Sea’s floating offshore platforms.
It is worth noting that the general support ship “HERACLES” significantly contributes to our Navy’s modernization, as well as extending our capabilities with regards to the research and rescue of submarines. Furthermore, due to her particular hull and given, she has been designed for the North Sea navigation, she can withstand adverse weather and sea conditions. The vessel possesses maximum operational flexibility, as she can carry combat-support vehicles, cranes, heavy constructions and containers, based on each mission’s requirements. The vessel also possesses a Dynamic Positioning system, which allows to remain stable, while idle in any weather conditions, thus offering the Greek Navy the opportunity to carry out operations that were once not possible.
It should also be noted that the vessel possesses two 9.600 horsepower propulsion engines, two axial generators, four transverse thrusters (two in the bow and two in the stern) including its main engines’ two main propellers. The vessel can also launch anti-aircraft stringer missiles.
The vessel’s “Godmother”, as a reward for her excellence, was Petty Officer Maria Kokaraki, the first graduate of her class for the school-year 2016.
In his salutation, Vice -Admiral, Mr. Stylianos Petrakis stated: “Today marks a landmark for the modernization and renewal of our Navy’s fleet units and support ships”. Mr. Petrakis underlined that the fleet’s modernization is of utmost importance in order to face the geopolitical challenges of Greece’s surrounding area. Furthermore, the leader also thanked “genuine” patriot, Mr. Panagiotis Laskaridis for another generous donation to both Navy and Country”.
Chief of the Defence Staff, Mr. Konstantinos Floros mentioned that the General support ship “Heracles” constitutes a combat effective unit, that is appropriate for the support of a large number of operations”. Mr. Floros also expressed his certainty, that the vessel’s Dynamic Positioning System, will benefit the Greek Navy in a multitude of ways as well as allow it to operate in any weather conditions.
Minister of National Defence, Mr. Nikolaos Panagiotopoulos, stated that the new “Heracles” vessel “modernizes our fleet at sea and support activities directly. Ιt is an established fact the recently donated General Support Ship “Atlas I” took place at Navy’s exercise. Mr. Panagiotopoulos also stated that fleet modernization is critical vital or imperative, due to the intense geopolitical tensions in our country’s regions of immediate interest.
In his salutation, Mr. Panagiotis Laskaridis, President of the Aikaterini Laskaridi Foundation, highlighted that “the Greek Navy’s equipment has been dangerously neglected and must urgently be modernized, so that the Navy can carry out its work better”. Mr. Laskaridis also stated that the Hellenic Navy’s vessels need to be freed from the intricate bureaucracy, which renders them idle, when they should be fully operational. He also wished “Heracles’” crew, Safe Seas and may Saint Nikolas always be at their side.
Photos: Naftika Chronika