Meko 200 PN – Vasco da Gama Class
Meko 200 HN - Ydra Class
The first Meko 200 class frigate was built in Germany and entered service in 1992. The remaining three ships were built in Hellas. The Hellenic Navy ordered four MEKO 200HN Hydra Class frigates with the first, F-452 Hydra built in Germany by the Blohm & Voss Shipyards and the rest by the Hellenic Shipyards. Delivery of the first frigate was made on January 29th 1993, the second,F-453 Spetsai on the 24th October 1996; followed by the third, F-454 Psara; and the fourth, F-455 Salamis vessel of the class in 1999. Emphasis was given to better ASW capabilities with a DE1160 Variable Depth sonar (VDS) and support for one S-70B6 Aegean Hawk ASW helicopter, which is the Greek version of Seahawk using the AGM-119Mk2 Penguin Anti-ship missiles.
Both 1:700 water line hulls where scratch-built by Geoff Baker with laminated plastic card sheets, and I built all the structures. I decided to build the Portuguese and the Greek versions.
Only minor changes are required: aft structure near the funnels is slightly different as well as the hanger shape. The Greek version also has a VDS on the stern, below the flight deck level. The armament is also different from one version to another. I think Australian version looks very close to the Greek version, however with very small differences. PitRoad/Skywave sprues with armament, radars, ladders, and other sensors where used to complete both models, but some parts, like the gun directors, were scratch-built. I also used White Ensign Model sets with doors, bollards, capstans and Lynx Helicopter. The decals came from multiple spare sheets, but the Portuguese markings for the Lynx helicopter came from a Mike Grant 1:700 decal sheet. The Greek markings on the SH-60 came from the 1:700 PitRoad/Skywave S-7 "The West Wings" set.
As far as I know, these models are the only scratch-built Meko200 ships ever published worldwide.