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Romania cancels multifunction corvette programme

Romanian navy's improved Tetal-class corvette Rear Admiral Eustatiu Sebastian (264). The multifunction corvette programme was intended to replace the Tetal and improved Tetal classes. (Romanian Navy)

Romania has cancelled its multifunction corvette programme, the Romanian Ministry of National Defence (MND) announced on 8 August.

Under the programme, in July 2019 a consortium of French shipbuilder Naval Group and Romanian shipyard Santierul Naval Constanta (SNC) was selected to build four Gowind 2500 corvettes for the Romanian Naval Forces (Forțele Navale Romane). However, the programme was subject to delays, including a reported protest from a rival bidder. During the selection process, bids had also been received from Damen and Fincantieri.

In a press release, theMND said the selected bidder “did not sign the framework agreement within the terms requested by the contracting authority”. However, the programme did not proceed to the next bidder as “the funds necessary to declare the economic operator in the next place as the winner were not identified”.

Final negotiations with the winning consortium were reported in June 2023, and negotiations were set to commence with Damen for its Sigma 10514 design had these been unsuccessful. Speaking to Romanian public broadcaster TVR on 14 June 2023, Romanian Minister of National Defence Angel Tîlvăr said a resolution to the corvette procurement programme was expected “one way or another” by the end of that week. TVR reported that the increased cost of raw materials was cited as an impediment to the conclusion of the contract negotiations, while four previous deadlines for the conclusion of the programme had also been missed.

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