Romania's Ministry of Defence is nearing a decision on the procurement of new multirole corvettes after receiving final bids at the beginning of October from Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding of the Netherlands, Italy's Fincantieri, and France's Naval Group.
The EUR1.6 billion (USD1.85 billion) programme covers the acquisition of four corvettes, as well as the combat system modernisation of the Romanian Navy's two ex-UK Royal Navy Type 22 frigates Regina Maria and Regele Ferdinand . A source selection is scheduled for 26 October, although industry sources suggest this could slip by a number of weeks.
Romania's requirement calls for a 2,500-tonne class multipurpose ship with capabilities across anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface warfare, anti-air warfare, electronic warfare, naval gunfire support, and search and rescue. The design is also required to provide aviation facilities suitable for an IAR 330 Puma 10-tonne helicopter and a shipborne unmanned aircraft system.
In line with Romanian stipulations for local industry participation, all three contenders are proposing build and in-service support in conjunction with subsidiaries or partners based in country. Romania has asked for the first corvette to be delivered inside three years, with the programme to be completed in seven years.
Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding is bidding a variant of its SIGMA 10514 design with sister yard Damen Shipyards Galati. To meet the Romanian requirement, Daman has specified a Thales Nederland combat management system (CMS)/sensor fit, the Raytheon Evolved SeaSparrow Missile System and Boeing Harpoon Block II anti-ship missiles. The underwater warfare suite would be provided by General Dynamics Mission Systems-Canada.
Fincantieri, which owns the Vard Braila and Tulcea shipyards in Romania, is offering a customised variant of the Abu Dhabi corvette previously built for the United Arab Emirates. It is likely that Vard Braila would be the focal point for both construction and in-service support if Fincantieri is selected.
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