By Constantin Radut
During a visit to Bucharest, Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs, expressed his hope, during a press conference such as Naval Group and Costanța Shipyard, the association that won the tender for the construction of 4 multifunctional corvettes for Romania, will reach an agreement and will sign the agreement for the start of the manufacture of military ships.
“It’s about a discussion between two industrial partners. I am happy that these talks are taking place and I am glad that they are moving forward, they are in a good state. I am pleased with the quality of our maritime relations. ”
“I hope that all these discussions will succeed as soon as possible and that the two companies involved will make the necessary efforts to conclude this agreement as soon as possible, which will greatly strengthen the bilateral relationship between Romania and France and will also contribute to good coordination. our naval forces in the Black Sea, “said Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian.
The corvette business for the Romanian Naval Forces seems endless. The Romanian Minister of National Defense (MApN), Vasile Dîncu, declared on February 2 that the association between the French builder Naval Group and the Constanta / Romania Shipyard has received another month to decide whether or not to sign the contract with the state. Romanian.
“The association between Naval Group and Constanţa Shipyard requested another deadline for a final answer of about a month. We are all interested in this contract being fulfilled, it is about the important endowment for the Romanian Naval Forces and obviously, we allow them to negotiate further “, said Vasile Dîncu.
The Minister also specified that the Romanian state will not renegotiate the amount it will pay following the tender won by the association Naval Group – Şantierul Naval Constanţa for the 4 envelopes. The Ministry of National Defense awarded the contract to the association Naval Group – Constanta Shipyard, which came with an offer of 1.2 billion euros, with only 50 million euros in front of the Dutch group Damen. Naval Group offered the Gowind 2500 with CODLAD hybrid diesel-electric propulsion and European armament solutions with MBDA missiles, ie VL Mica anti-aircraft missiles and Exocet anti-ship vectors.
The tender was challenged several times by the Damen Group, which offered a Sigma 10514 hybrid diesel-electric propulsion corvette with American armament solutions.
Damen’s appeals were rejected by Romanian courts, and in 2021 the Ministry of National Defense found itself in a position where it could sign a contract with Naval Group, but the French company did not come to finalize the agreement.
According to some sources, the non-signing of the contract is a direct consequence of the misunderstandings that appeared inside the Naval Group France association and the Constanţa Shipyard. The Romanian company is now dissatisfied with the terms of the association.
Naval Group would have promised a minimum investment of 20 million euros, money that would not have been invested in the infrastructure of the Constanta Shipyard.
In addition, the contract with MApN contains quite important penalties, and Naval Group wants them to be assumed exclusively by the Constanţa Shipyard because it is the company that actually builds the ships for the Romanian Naval Forces, which is not agreed by the Romanian side.
Because the contract was not signed due to the non-presentation of the association Naval Group – Şantierul Naval Constanţa, the Ministry of National Defense repeatedly asked for clarification of the situation and introduced a deadline (January 31) by which the association should have communicated whether to continue with signing the contract based on the submitted offer.
However, the deadline was extended by a month after, by chance or not, French President Emmanuel Macron announced on January 19 that France was willing to send troops to Romania as part of NATO missions.
From a procedural point of view, if the contract with the Naval Group – Constanţa Shipyard Association is not signed, the Ministry of National Defense must, according to the documents related to the tender, go to the next ranked, Damen, which had a confirmed offer of 1.25 billion euros.
We remind you that the purpose of this endowment program is the purchase of four multifunctional corvettes for the Naval Forces and the purchase of ammunition for ships. Corvettes will be able to perform missions in the following areas of combat: AAW (fight against air threats), ASuW (fight against surface ships), ASW (fight against submarine threats), EW (electronic warfare), NGS (fire support at the coast).
By Constantin Radut