Romania Chooses Naval Group for Its New Corvettes
(Source: French Armed Forces Ministry; issued July 03, 2019)
(Unofficial translation by Defense-Aerospace.com)
Romanian Defense Minister Gabriel Les greets Florence Parly, his French counterpart, for a bilateral meeting in Brussels during the NATO ministerial in late June, where they presumably lifted the final doubts about the corvette contract. (RO MoD photo)
PARIS --- The Romanian Ministry of Defense announced on 3 July 2019 the victory of Naval Group, teamed with the Romanian shipyard SNC, in the competition to supply four multi-mission corvettes and the modernization of two Romanian Type 22 frigates.

Florence Parly, Minister of the Armed Forces, welcomes this decision which is fully in the spirit of efforts to build a strong and ambitious European defense.

This decision will have a positive economic impact for the shipyards and their subcontractors. Over 400 jobs will be consolidated at several Naval Group sites over the next five years.

The first corvette will be delivered by 2022, the value of the contract (4 corvettes and two modernized frigates) amounts to 1.2 billion euros.

For the past six months, "Team France" has sold 22 military surface ships, largely destined for European countries (Romania, Belgium, the Netherlands). This is a historic record, given that the previous 22 surface ships were sold over a period of thirty years.

Context

This strategic program for Romania covers both the acquisition of four multi-mission corvettes, the modernization of the two Type 22 frigates in service in the Romanian Navy, and the creation of a maintenance center and a training center.

The Romanian Ministry of Defense on March 1, 2018 published a request for tenders to which various European candidates responded, including Naval Group, which partnered with the Romanian Santierul Naval Constanta (SNC) shipyard, located on the Black Sea coast. Naval Group proposed the Gowind corvette equipped with the SETIS combat management system, equipped with Thales hull and towed sonars, and armed with MBDA MICA-VL and Exocet missiles.

Romania thus becomes the first European country, and also the first NATO country, to acquire this type of warship. With limited signatures in all areas (infrared, radar, magnetic, acoustic) and with anti-submarine, anti-aircraft and anti-surface combat capabilities of the highest order, the Gowind offers the ideal capability to allow Romania to ensure its security in the Black Sea.

At the industrial level, if the main sub-systems of the corvette will be supplied by the Naval Group plants at Lorient and Toulon-Ollioules, a large place will be made for local partnerships:

-- the detailed design studies required to accommodate Romanian requirements will be carried out in cooperation with the Icepronav design office;

-- the communication system will be produced by the company Interactive through a transfer of technology;

-- the construction of the vessels and their final assembly will be carried out at SNC’s Constanta shipyard, also thanks to transfer of technology.

Delivery of the first corvette is expected in 2022. The entire program will be completed within seven years.

This acquisition, a major one for Romania, from a French manufacturer echoes the long tradition of cooperation between the two countries, honored in 2018 on the occasion of the centenary of the creation of modern Romania in which the France played an important role.

While fulfilling its commitments to NATO, Romania demonstrates with this acquisition its desire to strengthen the defense of Europe and develop the defense industrial and technological base by turning to its partners of the European Union for its acquisitions of military equipment.

This approach is to be welcomed; it is part of the European orientation that France promotes relentlessly. In 2018, 25% of our defense exports went to our European partners, compared with an average of 10% in previous years. Beyond export markets, it is the interoperability of our forces and the strategic autonomy of Europe of defense that are at stake.

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