On Monday Sept 21/09, ThyssenKrupp Marine informed the Greek Minister of Defence that it was canceling “The Archimedes Project” contract for 4 U-214 diesel-electric submarines with Air-Independent Propulsion technology, because the government’s payments had remained underwater for too long. Accumulated payment arrears were over EUR 520 million (then $767 million), and so ThyssenKrupp and its subsidiary Hellenic Shipyards sought international arbitration, in order to recover some of the payments due under its contract.
That development was the just the latest chapter in a long and continuing saga. If the issue remained unresolved, or arbitration resulted in termination payments but no delivery, Greece might have found itself without a submarine force. A resolution was arrived at, but failed execution by Hellenic Shipyards has left Greece’s future submarine fleet in limbo, even as investigations and trials are sending former Greek officials to court and to jail for corruption associated with the purchase.