"Today is an important day for the Navy. With this project, we took the second step towards the modernization of the Bulgarian Army, after signing the contract for new fighter aircraft. I hope it is not the last one."
This was what the Minister of Defense Krassimir Karakachanov said at the ceremony on signing the contract for the project "Acquisition of Multipurpose Modular Patrol Vessels for the Navy" with the company Fr. Lürssen Werft GmbH & Co. KG today, 12 November 2020.
The contract, endorsed by the Council of Ministers, the company will manufacture and deliver two multipurpose modular patrol vessels (MMPVs) within a budget of 984,000,000 leva (503 million euros) inclusive of VAT.
The ships are going to be built on Bulgarian territory, at the MTG Dolphin shipyard. The vessels are expected to be delivered in 2025 and 2026 respectively. The contract provides for training of both the crews and the engineers.
The MMPVs will be capable of participating in a vast range of NATO and EU maritime operations. The implementation of this project will help the Bulgarian Navy acquire modern capabilities for surface warfare, submarine warfare, and air warfare.
"We signed a contract that is important not only for the Bulgarian Armed Forces, particularly for the Bulgarian Navy, but also for the company Lurssen. It shows that the relations, including the economic ones, between the two friendly countries, the Republic of Bulgaria and the Federal Republic of Germany, are developing well," added Minister Karakachanov.
"Our relations with Lurssen do not end with this contract, on the contrary, this contract is only the beginning. We still have a lot of work to do on the industrial cooperation. I hope that the two sides will be able to build trust and good relations which, for many years to come, will be beneficial both for the German company and for the Bulgarian Navy," said the Minister of Defence.
"The deal is especially important because the two ships will be fully built in Bulgaria, in Varna. We plan to build more ships in the future that will be used both in the Black Sea and in other seas.”
This was what Dirk Malgowski, Managing Director of the company Fr. Lürssen Werft “GmbH & Co. KG said at the signing ceremony.
He thanked the Bulgarian team for the constructive atmosphere and hard work and effort put in the negotiations process and pointed out that the real hard work is actually ahead of us as the building of the vessels will take several years.
“It is a great day for Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Navy, stressed Dirk Malgowski, and it is an important day for my company, for Lürssen, as well, because we have been able to sign this deal with a European partner country and NATO member, which is of special importance to us. Thanks to this deal, the excellent ties between our two countries will deepen even further.”
In compliance with all anti-epidemic measures, the ceremony was attended by the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Germany to Bulgaria H.E. Christoph Eichhorn, the Chief of Defence Admiral Emil Eftimov, the Commander of the Bulgarian Navy Rear Admiral Kiril Mihaylov, and representatives of the contractor.