MILMAG 01/2019 online »

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Romanian corvette procurement stalled

According to local media, Romanian Ministry of Defence (MoD) will most likely cancel the ongoing tender for four new, multipurpose corvettes. The acquisition procedure will have to be relaunched shortly after. 

Romania pursues procurement of new, multipurpose corvettes as part of an overall effort to modernize its armed forces and enhance defence capabilities in the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis and deterioration of relations between Russia and the West / Picture: Damen Group

The head of the Romanian MoD, Gabriel Leș, is expected to announce his decision on the future of the corvette tender in the next couple of weeks. However, according to local media, the ministry might have been already convinced to cancel the acquisition procedure, due to a number of irregularities in the selection and bid evaluation process as well as possibly insufficient budget appropriations(Bulgaria pursues OPV acquisition, 2019-04-23). 

In fact Romanian corvette tender has been stalled since 11thJanuary when the MoD announces its decision to hold the procurement procedure due to, apart from aforementioned irregularities and budgetary constraints, also a formal complaint submitted by the local Santierul Naval Constanta shipyard, which has partnered with the French Naval Group, one of three foreign bidders. 

The French shipbuilding company offers Romania its renowned Gowind 2500 class corvettes, while the Italian Fincantieri pitches a modernised Abu Dhabi class project and the Dutch Damen Group submitted an offer based on the SIGMA 10514 design. 

The Romanian MoD requires that new multipurpose corvettes will be built in the country under the transfer of technology agreement, utilizing the local shipbuilding capacity. The future deal, worth €1,3-1,6 billion (5,5-6,8 billion Polish Zloty) also includes an overhaul and modernization of two ex-British type 22 frigates, Regele Ferdinand (F 221) and Regina Maria (F 222).

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