By Constantin Radut
The contract for the acquisition of multifunctional corvettes for the Romanian Military Navy was assigned to the association Constanţa Shipyard – Naval Group, Defense Minister Gabriel Leş announced on Wednesday.
“I firmly believe that it is a very important moment for the Romanian Navy, which, as I say every time, for almost 30 years have not received new technique. It’s the first such program. (…) On Monday, July 1, we received from the Department of Armaments the report by which I was informed, as Minister, about the completion of the specific procedure organized at the level of the department for awarding the framework agreement for the supply of the multifunctional corvette product. According to this announcement, the winning bid was declared by the association between Naval Group and Constanta Naval Station, “Defense Minister Gabriel Leş said.
According to the minister, “the period of delivery of these corvettes is 7 years, in three years the first corvette”, followed by the other three, until the deadline of maximum 7 years
“The same contract will also make the modernization of the frigates that Romania has in its endowment,” Minister Les explained.
Thus, by 2026, Romania will have four corvettes, and the first ship will be built by 2022.
All the technical criteria have been taken into account and this association has been reached, Gabriel Leş said.
When asked what were the criteria for designating the winner of the tender, the Minister of Defense mentioned the tender commission report, according to which all the technical and capability criteria required by the beneficiary were met. The winning association also had the lowest price, but that was not a defining choice but the fulfillment of the technical criteria, the minister added.
The Ministry of National Defense has received offers in this auction from Dutch company Damen, Italian company Fincantieri and Naval Group from France.
The auction was delayed after the Ministry of National Defense (MapN) suspended the acquisition of multifunctional corvettes in January after the Constanţa Shipyard (SNC) acted in court with the Government and the Ministry of Defense, demanding the cancellation of the tender for the supply program with multifunctional corvettes. The Department of Armaments then alerted the Military Prosecutor’s Office to the Military Appeal Court for “reasonable suspicions about the lawfulness of the proceedings.”
A month later, representatives of Constanţa Shipyard announced that they were dropping the lawsuit filed against the Government and the Ministry of National Defense, demanding the cancellation of the tender for the multifunctional corvette equipment program. At that time, Leş announced that he had asked the Legal Department of the MApN to identify the legal steps to follow.
The € 1.6 billion ($ 1.85 billion) program covers the acquisition of four corvettes, as well as the modernization of the fighting systems of the Queen Maria and King Ferdinand frigates.
By Constantin Radut