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Romanian parliament approves procurement of submarines, minehunters, and corvette modernisation

Lastunul , one of three Zborul (Tarantul I)-class corvettes, approved to undergo modernisation. (Romanian Navy)

The Romanian parliament has given the approval for the purchase of two new submarines and two second-hand minehunters for the Romanian Navy as well as modernisation of the service's corvettes, local media reported.

According to a report by Romania's national press agency Agerpres on 18 May, the Romanian parliament approved a request from the Ministry of National Defence for the procurement of two Scorpène-class conventionally powered diesel-electric submarines (SSKs) from French shipbuilder Naval Group. The programme is estimated at EUR2 billion (USD2.14 billion) and is expected to take place over a period of eight years.

The submarine procurement is intended to provide the Romanian Navy with improved anti-surface, anti-submarine, and intelligence-gathering capabilities, both in Romanian territorial waters and in international waters further afield.

Romania currently has one ‘Kilo'-class submarine, Delfinul , which has been out of service since 1995.

Naval Group's Scorpène class can achieve a top speed of 20 kt submerged, with a range of 6,500 n mile at 8 kt surfaced in conventional diesel-electric form. The class can also be equipped with air-independent propulsion for improved stealth capabilities and up to eighteen days autonomy at sea.

The Romanian parliament also approved a new minehunter programme. According to a report in Romanian news outlet HotNews on 18 May, the programme will include the procurement and modernisation of two second-hand Sandown-class minehunters from the UK. The programme, with an estimated value of EUR150 million, is expected to take place over a five-year period. The vessels are to be fitted with a new Atlas Elektronik combat system and SeaFox expendable mine disposal systems.

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